Coming Home for Christmas
“It really is very kind of you to have me staying for Christmas this year, Karen – with your father passing on this year, I didn’t want to be alone.”
Karen smiled as she pulled up outside her flat, and turned off the engine of her Skoda Octavia. “It’s my pleasure Mum – the last thing either of us needs is a Christmas where we feel sad. Come on – I’ll show you the new flat.”
Karen smiled as her mother got out of the car. For a woman in her sixties, she still looked remarkably good, her greying hair cut into a short bob as she walked over the cobbles and onto the pavement. Gail was wearing a black leather jacket, v-necked jumper and a grey blouse with a frilled front, dark trousers and short black boots.
As for Karen, she was wearing a black military style jacket over a dark round necked top, grey pants and knee length brown boots, the legs of her pants covered by the tan leather. “Come on up,” Karen said as she locked the car, and picked up her mother’s case, “I’ll get the kettle on and make us some coffee.”
“Sounds good,” Gail said as they walked into the apartment block, her black opal ring prominent on her finger as she waited for Karen to open the door to her apartment. “Make yourself at home,” she said as she went into a door to one side of the hallway, “I’ll put the coffee on and then come and join you.”
Gail walked down the corridor and into the spacious main room, smiling and nodding in appreciation at the way her daughter had furnished the room, the small spruce tree in the corner glistening with lights as she walked over to it. Smiling, she looked at the large gold and silver baubles, admiring the way the ceiling light glistened on them, and the shadow that was cast over it.
A shadow? Gail slowly turned round and looked in front of her...
“Here we go,” Karen said as she carried a tray with a coffee pot and two cups in, setting it on the low table in front of the couch, “Now, do you still...”
“I’m sorry,” Gail said as Karen turned and looked at her, and at the masked man who was standing behind her. Gail’s arms had been pulled behind her back, her black leather jacket on the back of a chair, and the man had a gun in his hand which he was pointing at Karen.
“Please,” he said in a quiet voice, his lips barely moving in the hole of the balaclava that covered his face, “take off your jacket and turn round with your hands behind your back. I regret to say I need to secure you and your mother, and prevent you from raising the alarm, before I make my escape.”
“What’s going on,” Karen said as he eyes moved from her mother to the man.
“I don’t know, he surprised me when I came in here – I guess we disturbed him,” Gail said as he made her sit down in a leather armchair. She watched as the man stood behind Karen, taking her jacket from her and putting it on the couch before she pulled her arms behind her back and she felt cords pulling them tightly together.
“That hurts,” she said as she was made to sit down, watching as the masked man crossed her ankles and tied them tightly together, and then secured her legs below her knees. He then moved over to Gail and bound her legs in the same way, the two women looking at each other as he did so.
“Now, excuse me for a moment,” he said as he left the two women, Karen twisting her wrists round as she tried to free them.
“Don’t” Gail said quietly, “You’ll only hurt yourself, and I think we’d be better off allowing him to take your jewellery which...”
“... which we can easily replace,” Gail continued as she smiled at her daughter. “Put it this way – we can have fun in the sales afterwards, and – well, we have a story to tell.”
Karen smiled and said “I guess so” as the masked man came back in, carrying two of Karen’s expensive scarves with him. “I am afraid it is time to be silent,” he said as he rolled the first scarf into a band, and walked over to Gail, pulling it into her mouth as he tied it around her head.
Gagging the younger woman in the same way, he smiled and bade them a good night, leaving them to look at each other until the authorities were alerted...
“Thank you, ladies, for attending our annual Mother and Daughter Christmas Lunch. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
As the group split up, Melanie and Miranda Holt walked out arm in arm, the perfect mother and daughter combination. They looked alike, they had the same light brown hair – Miranda’s cut maybe a little longer than her mother’s – and they liked to dress in a similar way. Today, Melanie was wearing a blue denim jacket over a brown dress, the plain top becoming a brocaded lace-like skirt that came down to her knees, and long brown straight leather boots tightened with straps around her calves. She also had a patterned scarf wrapped around her neck.
As for Melanie, she was wearing a black and white checked jacket with a ruffled collar, over a long sleeved white top, and a straight brown skirt that came perhaps an inch higher than her mothers. She was also wearing brown boots, but these ones had a looser fit, with the top open at the back.
“That was a wonderful lunch,” Melanie said as he got into the passenger seat foe hr car, smiling as her daughter drove them back home. “I do so enjoy seeing the girls at this time of year.”
“Well, it passes the time,” Miranda said as they made their way to the house on the outskirts of town, “so when does Dad get home?”
“Late tonight – he’ll have a couple of days to unwind before you bring that husband of yours other for Christmas lunch.”
“Which I am looking forward to,” Miranda said as they pulled up in the driveway, and got out of the car, walking into the house and leaving their bags on the table by the front door.
“Hey,” Melanie said as she looked at her daughter, “Did you hear that?” There was the sound of someone in the living room, as they walked in to see what was happening.”
“Ho ho ho,” the man in the Santa Clause outfit said as he looked at the two women, “Merry Christmas. I’m here to collect your donation to the poor.”
“Donation,” Melanie said as she looked at him, “What donation?”
“Your jewellery and valuables,” he said as he pointed a very real gun at them, “Kindly come to where you keep them with me, and put everything in the sack.”
“Mum?” Miranda looked at the gun, and then slowly raised her hands as Melanie did likewise. Santa motioned to the staircase, the two women walking in front of him as they climbed up and into the master bedroom.
“Now,” he said as he put his sack on the bed, opening it and taking out coils of rope, “Kneel down like good little girls, and put your hands behind your back.”
“May I take my jacket off first,” Melanie said, Santa nodding as she took her jacket off and laid it on the bed, before kneeling next to Miranda and crossing her wrists behind her back. The rope was a silver colour, and felt soft on her skin as her wrists were secured tightly together, the cords going round and between her arms. She looked over and watched as Miranda was secured in the same way, before he knelt behind her, put her ankles together and pulled more rope around them, the leather squeaking as the rope rubbed against it.
“Where are they,” he said as he bound her daughter’s ankles side by side, so Melanie told him about the boxes in the cupboard, and also the safe.
She stated a six figure number, after which he said “Thank you,” and moved them both so that they were sitting back to back. The two women watched in silence as he passed rope over their bodies, and pulled them together around their waists.
Melanie gripped her daughter’s hand with her own as more rope was tied around their upper bodies, holding them together before he tightened to with shorter length sunder their arms. 2Well, at least we get to be together,” Miranda said as the ropes pulled them even closer.
“True – and he hasn’t hurt us, which is something,” Melanie said as Santa bent her legs, and tied them together below her knees, before stretching them out and adjusting her skirt. The same thing was done to Miranda, before he started to search through and empty the jewellery into his sack.
“Just out of interest,” Miranda said as she watched him, “Just who are these poor people you intend to give the jewellery to?”
“Why, me of course,” he said as he looked at them, the white beard and hood covering his face.
“Thought so,” Miranda said as he emptied the safe, and then took a roll of silver tape from his bag.
“IT’s been a real pleasure to meet you ladies,” he said as he pressed several strips of tape over the mouths of each of them, “but I need to get going now. Rudolph needs to be fed. I’m sure someone will be home soon to free you, but until then – Merry Christmas!”
They turned their heads and watched him as he left the room, and started to struggle, trying to free the ropes that held them in place but with little success....
Gillian Brookes was smiling as she drove to her mother’s house. It had been a long drive, with an overnight stop, but she was really looking forward to spending Christmas with the rest of her family.
As she went down the familiar streets, she saw the displays outside the houses, and smiled to herself. The one outside her childhood home was twinkling as she parked in the driveway, getting out and grabbing her case as she looked at the plain white front door.
This was her first Christmas at home since she took the job in the North, and as she walked to the door her brown flat shoes flapped a little. She wore a pinky red open cardigan over a blue blouse, with a thin brown leather belt around her waist and a necklace under the collar, and a pair of blue jeans, but compared to her apartment it was positively tropical.
“Mum,” she said as she walked into the house, “I’m here.” Putting her case down, she looked at herself in the mirror, brushing her long light brown hair back behind her ears.
There was no reply, so Gillian walked into the front room, seeing the old Christmas tree for the first time. “Is anyone...”
Sally, her mother, was sat on a dining chair in the middle of the room, looking at her daughter through her glasses over the strip of white tape that covered her mouth, holding in the scarf that had been stuffed inside. Her arms had been pulled behind the back of the chair, forcing open her orange cardigan to show the purple high collared blouse she was wearing, the bead necklace hitting against the band of rope that was tied around her upper chest and to the top of the chair.
A second band was tied under her chest, around the chair back, while a third band was visible over the long tartan skirt she was wearing. Gillian could also see the ropes around her legs and her ankles, the white contrasting with the black leather which squeaked as her mother tried to move them from the chair leg her ankles were tied to.
“Please,” a voice behind her said as Gillian felt a disc of metal pressed against her back, “no screams, no surprises. Your mother has proved most co-operative, and I expect you to do the same.”
“Who are you,” Gillian said as she looked again at her mother, her blonde hair moving as she shook her head.
“Oh, just a naughty little Christmas elf,” the voice said as the disc was pressed more firmly into her back. “now, walk to the table, select a second chair and set it next to your mother, then sit on it with your hands on your head.”
“All right,” Gillian said as she stepped slowly forward, taking a chair and setting it down before she seated herself, and got a good look for the first time at – a man in an Elf costumes, with a black stocking pulled over his head.
“Welcome home,” he said as he walked behind her, and pulled her arms down, Gillian looking over her shoulder as she felt the rope pulling her crossed wrists together, and then tying them down to the chair back. “Msreeeejlln,” Sally said as she looked at her daughter, “mmsssmrreee....”
“Oh come now, mummy,” the elf said as he passed some rope around Gillian’s stomach and pulled her back against the chair, “Consider this an adventure before Christmas. I’m not taking any gifts – just your jewels, and anything wrapped under the tree stays intact.”
“Has he hurt you,” Gillian said as she felt the rope pulling her shoulders back, Sally shaking her head as she watched her daughter been tied to the chair as she was. The elf then knelt in front of Gillian, taking her leg to one side and tying her ankle and below her knee to one chair leg, then repeating the process on the other side.
She tried to free her arms and legs, but the ropes were too tight, and the knots out of reach of her fingers, as the elf took a sponge ball out of his pocket, held it in front of Gillian’s mouth and squeezed it. “Did he,” she said as she looked at her mother, who nodded as Gillian opened her mouth and allowed him to push the sponge in, the material expanding and filling her mouth as he tore a length of white tape from a roll and pressed it down over her mouth.
“Whtrwgngntd,” Gillian mumbled as the elf finished putting various gold items into his bag.
“Ifnde,” Sally said as she tried again to free her legs, only to stop as the ropes dug into the bare skin of her wrists. They were forced to watch, helpless to stop him as he completed collecting his haul, then smiled and waved at them before he left them alone.
It was fortunate for them that twenty minutes later, the sound of “Where are my favourite girls,” alerted them to the return of Gillian’s father – and the most timely of rescues...
“So here it is, Merry Christmas, Everybody’s having fun...”
Laura looked out over the room, smiling as the staff of her shop exchanged presents and glad tidings. She was in her fifties, but looked good for her age with short platinum blonde hair and a slim figure. Today, she was wearing a pink top with elbow length sleeves and a tiger print thin belt around her waist, a tiger print snook-like scarf around her neck, a black knee length leather skirt, black hose and a pair of black suede ankle boots.
On the far side of the room she could see her daughter Ashley talking to some of the younger staff. Ashley was twenty-one, with long light brown hair, and wore a camel brown round necked top with a pleated short black leather skirt, dark hose and a pair of camel suede ankle boots. A large necklace hung around her neck, made from light blue stones.
Eventually, the room cleared out, leaving Laura and Ashley in the office, making sure the takings were all ready for banking.
“Well, that seems to be everything,” Ashley eventually said, “Let me go and freshen up, and then we can take these to the bank for depositing.”
Laura nodded, her eyes smiling behind her large glasses as she watched her daughter walk out of the room, then looking under her desk for her large bag. She could hear the door opening, and said “That was quick,” before she raised her head – followed by her hands.
“That’s better,” Ashley said as she came in, “Now we can...” She stopped in mid stride and stared at her mother, whose hands were taped together in front of her with gold tape, from her wrist to the tips of her fingers. A large strip of the gold tape was also pressed over her mouth, as she tried to warn her daughters with her eyes of what – or rather, who was behind her.
“Mum? Who did this to you?”
“I did,” a voice said behind her, and as she turned round she saw a man standing there, a Santa hat on his head and a Grinch mask covering his face. He held up a roll of gold coloured duct tape, and said “Now, pretty girl, put your hands together in front of you and don’t move.”
“Why should I?”
“Because my friends Smith and Wesson say you should,” the Grinch said as he showed Ashley the gun, prompting her to put her hands together in prayer as he taped them together. He then tore off a long strip of the tape and pressed it over her lips, before saying “Now then, sit back to back – I’ll make this as quick as possible. Wouldn’t want to spoil the holidays too much for you.”
Ashley nodded as she sat on the carpet, the Grinch helping her mother to sit behind her, before he tore the end of the tape free and started to tape their upper bodies together, working from their waists up to their shoulders until they were wrapped like a golden present.
Laura tried to turn her head, saying “wllblrt” to her daughter as the Grinch knelt in front of her, pushed her legs up and taped her ankles and feet together, before wrapping the tape around her legs above and below her knees, tapping her skirt in the upper layer. Walking round, he then secured Ashley’s legs in the same way, as she watched the tape sticking to her suede boots.
“Now then,” the Grinch said as he started to pack the takings into his Christmas sack, “I’m sure the security guard will find you two eventually – after all he will want his Christmas bonus. This year, he might just earn it.”
Ashley glared at him while Laura shook her head, knowing there was little they could do to stop him as he danced out of the office, singing to himself “You’re a mean one, Mister Grinch....”
“I tell you, Nikki, if I see one more Santa in a street corner...”
Nikki smiled as she walked down the sidewalk with her older sister, steam rising from the vents and condensing in the cold air as they did so. She was wrapped up against the cold, her black leather bomber jacket fastened over her grey jersey and white top to keep the chill out. A pair of thermal leggings was under her jeans as well, while her long brown hair fell down her back and shoulders. She even had a pair of pink sunglasses on, to stop the glare of the winter sun from hurting her eyes.
As for Kelly, her sister, she had opted for the woolly hat and scarf combination, the black hat pulled over her head while the long woollen scarf sat under a large grey cardigan. That sat on top of a white top, while her black leggings were tucked into mid-length brown leather boots.
“It’ll be nice to spend Christmas Eve with Aunt Jayne,” Nikki said as they turned into the residential street, “You know how much she hates this time of year.”
“I know – it gets harder every year,” Kelly said as they walked up the stone stairs and rang on the doorbell. “Hi Aunt Jayne,” Nikki said as the door opened for them, and they walked up to her apartment. The door was unlocked, so they let themselves in and walked straight into the front room.
“Merry Chri...” Nikki started to say, before they saw their Aunt, lying face down on a long recliner. She had been doing an exercise routine, and was wearing a black leotard over a light blue body suit, but right now she was doing some leg stretches, helped by the rope holding her bound ankles to the ropes around her chest and arms.
Kelly could see the ropes holding her arms together behind her back, as well as her legs, and the white scarf sitting between her lips. “What the...”
“Hello girls – no don’t turn round. Take those jackets off and toss them on the chair over there.”
The voice was distorted, but sounded male, as the two young women looked at each other and then complied with the request, throwing their hats, jackets and scarves onto the chair as Jayne watched.
“Very good,” the strange voice said, “now put your hands behind your backs and clasp them together.”
“What are you going to do to us,” Kelly asked as she slowly moved her hands behind her.
“Make sure you can’t raise the alarm,” the voice said as she felt cords being wrapped around her wrists, pulling them tightly together as they were wrapped around and between her arms. “It’s all right, Nikki,” she said to her younger sister, “We’ll treat this as one of the games we used to play, all right?”
Nikki looked at her aunt, who nodded to show she agreed before she felt her own wrist being pulled together. Once the cords were tied off, she tried to reach the knot with her fingers, but with little success.
“Kneel down,” the voice said, and as they knelt the girls felt their ankles being secured in the same way as their wrists.
“Open your mouth.”
Kelly nodded and opened her mouth wide, allowing whoever this was to pull a rolled up dish towel into her mouth and pull it tightly round her head, tying the ends together at the base of her neck. She watched as Nikki was gagged with a rolled up pillow case, her eyes widening as she was helped to lie on the floor next to her sister. As her ankles were pulled back, she looked to the side and saw some rope connecting them to Kelly’s wrists, and then visa versa.
“There now,” the voice said, “now I don’t think you can stop me from doing what I’m going to do next.”
The two girls looked at each other, wondering what he meant as the man walked past them and towards Jayne. They could see the back of his body, the tall strong looking body, with the short black hair, that looked so familiar...
“Hello girls – I’m sorry we surprised you like that, but it was nothing compared to the shock on Jayne’s face when I rang the doorbell earlier.”
Their Uncle John nodded and said “Happy Christmas girls – I got out a week ago, and I’ve been working my back to be here for Christmas.”
John looked at Jayne as she laughed on the couch and said “Of course – I’ve been Santa, an elf, a Grinch even...”