Relax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977

 

Debbie Hope was relaxing in the flat, enjoying the peace and quiet as she flipped through the latest edition of Cosmopolitan magazine.  Her long dark hair fell over the shoulders of her crimson sleeveless dress, her legs enclosed from the knees down in a pair of tight leather boots the colour of burnished gold.

 

She had recently moved into the top floor flat of the old London townhouse, following the conversion of the property into four flats, and had furnished it to her tastes, with a large rug covering the wooden floor and a long red Ottoman couch against which she was leaning as she read.  Soon, her boyfriend would be here, and they would be on their way out to dinner – a thought that made her smile as she put the magazine down.

 

Standing up, she brushed her dress down, and then made her way to the small kitchen, wondering if there was any coffee left in the pot.  As she walked in, however, she saw the window open, the cool air blowing in, and for a moment wondered when she had opened it.

 

A moment that passed quickly as she felt a gloved hand over her mouth, and another hand twisting her arm behind her back.  “Keep quiet,” a young man said behind her, “and do what I say, got it?”

 

She nodded, terrified as she was made to walk back into the front room, and forced to kneel in front of the Ottoman, her head pushed down onto the crimson upholstery as her wrists were pulled behind her back, and she felt tape being used to bind them tightly together, the sound of the material ripping free making her shake.

 

“Keep still,” the voice said again, as Debbie felt her ankles been pushed together, and then heard the ripping of the tape again as they were forced ext to each other.  She wondered what damage it would do to her boots, and then wondered what damage would be done to her, as she watched a pair of black gloved hands take the roll of black tape round her body, forcing her arms into her side.

 

She was then helped to sit on the couch, as she looked at the man standing in front of her.  He was younger than her, dressed in black, and had an evil smile on his face as he said “valuables.”

 

“In the bedroom,” she said as she stared back at him, and then stared at him as he tore strips of the black tape from the roll and stuck them over her mouth, gagging her before he taped her legs together above her knees.

 

“Stay there,” he said as Debbie watched him walk off, and sat there, wondering how she could possible raise the alarm and get herself free.

 

She then felt the cool breeze, and for a moment she thought she smelled meadow flowers as a little girl said “relax – I’ll look after you...”

 

For some strange reason, Debbie felt she could trust whoever had spoken, as she closed her eyes and felt herself drift off to sleep...

 

“Debbie?  DEBBIE!”

 

As she opened her eyes, she saw her boyfriend looking at her, and a policeman standing behind him.

 

“Whthppnnd,” she mumbled before the tape was peeled away.  “Where’s the intruder?”

 

“The man?  I found him in the bedroom, unconscious – and then saw you in here after I called a policeman in.  He was trying to rob you?”

 

“Yeah – but I was told to relax...  Did he take anything?”

 

“No – but something scared him.  His hair is white.”

 

Debbie shook her head.  “No – he was dark haired...”

 

“It’s white now,” the officer said, “it’s like he saw a ghost...”

 

 

 

1986

 

Olive was lying on the floor of the first floor flat, her body resting on a selection of pillows as she watched the television.  She lived alone, and worked in a local fashion boutique, which meant she liked to look good.  Her long hair was brown with blonde highlights, and she was wearing a grey top with capped sleeves that flowed down her arms, jeans and knee length grey leather boots with a three inch stiletto heel.

 

She was so engrossed in the video she was watching, knowing it had to be returned to the rental store that night, she didn’t hear the footsteps on the floor of the room, until she yelped as her wrists were pulled behind her back, and she felt rope been used to secure them together.

 

“Who the hell...”

 

“If I was you, missy,” the man she saw standing next to her, dressed in denim said, “I’d shut up and say nothing.”

 

Olive was powerless to stop whoever the second person was binding her wrists, before she felt a second length of rope around her arms, and her elbows almost touched as they were pulled together.

 

“She’s flexible, this one,” she heard a second man say.

 

“Good – means she won’t give us any trouble,” the first man said as she looked over her shoulder, watching as her ankles were crossed and white rope was passed tightly round them, forcing them together as the grey leather rubbed together.

 

“Look, just tell me what you want and you can have it,” she said as her ankles were pulled back, and secured to the rope around her arms.

 

“We want everything you’ve got, lady,” the second man said, “now open your mouth.”

 

“Why should I ohmggddddnt,” she said as she tasted the wool on her tongue, and one of her scarves was pulled between her lips, the ends tightly knotted together behind her head as her hair was trapped against her neck.

 

She turned her head and watched as they walked off, and then screamed in frustration as she heard them search her bedroom, items falling on the floor.

 

“Hmgddd,” she mumbled as she buried her head on the cushions – and then felt a cool hand as it brushed against her cheek, as a little girl said “relax – I’ll look after you.”

 

Somehow, that seemed to calm her, as she allowed her eyes to close, the smell of flowers filling her senses...

 

 

 

“Oh lord – it’s Olive isn’t it?”

 

She opened her eyes to see her upstairs neighbour, Debbie, looking at her, before she knelt down and removed the scarf.

 

“Thanks – there were two men...”

 

“I saw them – they ran screaming out of the front door when I opened it.  I saw the open door when I came up, and looked inside.  What happened?”

 

“They were robbing me – can you cut me free?”

 

“Scissors?”

 

“Kitchen,” Olive said as she looked round, and then sighed as her bonds were cut away.  “Did you – did you see a little girl by any chance?”

 

“No,” Debbie said as she helped Olive to sit up, “why?”

 

“I could have sworn I heard one tell me to relax...  What’s wrong?”

 

She looked at Debbie, who had gone pale before she said “I...  I was robbed some years ago, and a little girl told me to relax as well.  I’ll call the police – but I think we should talk as well...”

 

 

1995

 

Eleanor was in no position to discuss her feelings about her current situation – the reasons for that both physical and mental.

 

The mental was mainly concerned with the fear she was feeling as she watched the stocking masked man rifle through the drawers of the furniture in her bedroom.  He had surprised her when she had come in, and given her no opportunity to fight back.

 

Which had led to the physical reasons – the fact her wrists were secured together with brown rope, and then pulled above her head and secured to the headboard as she lay on her back, her head resting on a pillow.  The lower hem of her red wool dress was slightly pulled up, mainly because of her wriggling on the bed, and the squeak from her black patent leather boots as they rubbed together was the only other real sound.  Her ankles were secured together with rope, which also went around her feet and sat on top of the wide stack heels.  Her legs were also secured with rope just below her knees, while a pair of her own silk panties sat in her mouth, her lips covered with silver duct tape.

 

She moved her head, her long blonde hair moving with it, as he walked over and stroked a latex gloved hand down her cheek.

 

“You’re a very pretty woman,” he said as he looked at Eleanor, “a real pretty woman.  I think I’m going to have some fun with you...”

 

She wriggled round as she felt his hand stroke down her sides, and then stared as he said “I’m going to get some scissors – don’t go away.”  Seeing the way he was looking at her body, she shook her head and tried to call for help, but to no avail as he walked away.

 

“Hello.”

 

Eleanor’s eyes shot open as she looked to her side, and saw a young girl standing there, wearing a short sleeved check blouse, denim shorts and what looked like flip flops.  Her straw blonde hair was platted into two pigtails.

 

“Gtttetfhrr – rrnnn,” Eleanor said as she looked to the door, without even beginning to wonder how this girl had got in.

 

“Relax,” the girl said as she smiled, and somehow Eleanor could feel the fear easing from her body.  “I’ll look after you.”

 

Eleanor nodded as she looked to the door, the air suddenly cool and smelling of spring flowers as the girl walked out of the room.  She closed her eyes, at peace before she heard the scream, and the sound of footsteps running quickly out of the flat.

 

“Eleanor?  You in there?”

 

“Nhrrr,” she called out as Olive, the woman from the upstairs flat, came in, wearing a white leather jacket, jeans and ankle boots.

 

“Crap,” Olive said as she walked over, and peeled the duct tape from her lips, before she eased the soaking wet panties from her mouth.  “I’ll call the police, then cut you...”

 

“The girl...”

 

“What girl?”

 

“There was a little girl in here – she talked to me, then walked out...  What’s wrong?”

 

Olive looked at her as she said “did all the fear ease away?”

 

“Yes – why?”

 

 

2005

 

Rachel walked across the floor of the second floor flat, smiling as she checked the messages on her phone, and then threw herself down on a seat as she turned on the television and put her feet up on the footstool.

 

She looked down at her knee length brown leather boots as she crossed her ankles, the legs of her jeans tucked under the leather, and slipped off her brown cardigan, the long front panels falling to the floor as it slipped down her back.  She was wearing under the cardigan a sleeveless chocolate brown top with a cowl neck, the hem of an olive coloured top sticking out from underneath.

 

She flicked through the channels, finally alighting on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-run, and tucked her legs under her bottom as she watched.

 

“Like someone could just sneak up on you like that,” she said as she rested her head on her hand, her fingers resting on her short brown hair.

 

“Really?”

 

Rachel suddenly turned and looked at the young woman standing behind her, pointing a very real pistol at her as she smiled.  “Not a word, sweetheart,” the intruder said as she held up some rope, “lean forward, hands behind your back, and don’t move.”

 

“What the hell are you doing?”

 

“Right now, tying you up,” the woman said as she pulled Rachel’s arms behind her, crossing her wrists and binding them tightly together with the rope.  Rachel felt the bands tightening around and between her arms, her fingers searching but unable to find even the ends of the length.

 

She then gasped as the woman took a much longer length of rope around her arms, pulling them into her sides as it tightened below her chest.

 

“But why?”

 

“Oh I think you can guess – you have a lot of nice things here,” the woman said as she took the rope several times around her above and below her chest, fixing her arms into place as Rachel tried to stop her.  She had little chance, however, as she secured the rope behind her back and then her wrists to the chest binding.

 

“there,” she said as he knelt at the side of the chair, taking another length of rope and binding Rachel’s ankles together, the captive watching as the rope went around and between her limbs, “that should make sure you stay here while I have a look around.”

 

“I’ll tell you where my valuables are,” Rachel said as she tried to move her legs, the leather creaking, and then watched as the woman moved in front of her, and tied her legs together below her knees, “just take them and go.”

 

“Oh I’ll take them,” she said as she stood up and walked behind Rachel, “but first you need to be quiet.”

 

Rachel clamped her mouth shut at those words, and then gasped as the gloved hand pressed firmly on her breast – allowing the intruder to push a sponge ball into her mouth, and then tie a rolled up scarf between Rachel’s lips to keep it in place.

 

“More of this later,” the woman whispered as she massaged Rachel’s chest, the young woman whimpering as she felt the pressure, “but first, your valuables...”   Rachel felt the kiss on her head, and then heard the woman walk away, as she wondered what she was going to do.

 

“Hello – are you all right?”

 

Rachel whipped her head round as she saw the young girl smiling at her.

 

“Hrruu?  Hwddugtnn?  Ddducmefhrrr?”

 

“A friend, a secret, and no,” the girl said as she looked at Rachel, and all the fear seemed to ebb from her body.  “Relax – I’m going to look after you.”

 

She watched as the young girl skipped out of the room, and then heard a scream and a thud.  Moving her legs out from under her body, she got onto her feet and jumped into the hallway, looking into her room as she saw her captor unconscious on the floor.

 

There was no sign of the girl, as she jumped back to the hallway and managed to dislodge her telephone.

 

 

“OH hey Rachel.”

 

“Hi Ellie,” Rachel said as she looked at her downstairs neighbour, “sorry about the noise yesterday.”

 

“I heard – are you all right?”

 

“Yeah – just confused.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Well, I saw this girl at one time...  Ellie?”

 

“Come with me,” her neighbour said, “I want to tell you a story.”

 

 

 

2015

 

Take a sip of my secret potion
I'll make you fall in love
For a spell that can't be broken
One drop should be enough
Boy you belong to me
I got the recipe
And it’s called black magic (and it’s called black magic)


Take a sip of my secret potion
One taste and you'll be mine
It's a spell that can't be broken
It'll keep you up all night
Boy you belong to me
I got the recipe
And it’s called black magic (and it’s called black magic)

 

Tina danced round the kitchen floor as she made her supper, listening to the sound of Little Mix on her radio.  The young student had waved dark hair, and was wearing a tailored jacket with a leopard skin body and chocolate brown mid length sleeves and collar.  The brown matched her knee length skirt, while her dark hose covered legs were nestled in a pair of short brown leather boots, white socks visible from the top of her boots to her knees.

 

She smiled as she took the plastic pot from the microwave and tipped the contents into the bowl, and then took it over to the table, where she had a glass of wine waiting as well.  Before she had a chance to sit down, however, she heard a knock on the front door.

 

Glancing at the watch, she said “she’s early” to herself before she walked over, opening the door as she said “I thought you weren’t coming until Seffnnmmgddd.”

 

“Shut up,” the young man said, his hood pulled over his head as he pushed the cloth into Tina’s mouth, and pushed her back into the flat, and the other two young men coming in with her as one of them kicked the door closed.  Tina was frogmarched back to her table, and made to sit down as she watched the other two grab her wrists.

 

They held them against the chair back and produced rolls of white tape, Tina unable to stop them as they taped her wrists to the wood, and then taped her body to the chair back, securing her in place.

 

“Whtrrudnnn,” she mumbled as her ankles were forced against the chair legs, and taped firmly into place, before the tape was sued to secure her legs below the knee.  Finally, she gasped as she felt the white tape wrapped tightly round her head, keeping the cloth in place as it covered her mouth.

 

“Now, you sit there nice and quiet,” the man said as he flicked a knife open, and looked at Tina, running the blade down her chest, “and we’ll have some fun in a little while, all right?”

 

Tina shook her head as the three men left her there, and went to her bedroom, Tina closing her eyes and praying for someone to come.

 

“Relax – I’ll look after you.”

 

“Whsthhrr,” Tina said as she heard the young girl, and felt the soft breeze, the smell of meadow flowers filling the room as she opened her eyes and looked round.

 

“Hey – lookee here.  We got a visitor,” she heard the man say.  A few moments later, she heard him again, only this time it was a choked cry as he said “Oh god – who are you?  WHAT are you?”

 

“SHIT,” she then heard one of the other men say, before all three ran past her, heading out of the flat as if some monster was chasing them.  As she watched, the little girl skipped past her, smiling as she went out of the door.

 

“Tina?  You in there?”

 

“RSHL!!!!”

 

She looked over as Rachel appeared, looking at her as she said “Oh my...  Did you see a little girl?”

 

Tina nodded as Rachel found a pair of scissors and then cut her free.  “Yeah – how did you know?”

 

“Check nothing’s been taken, and clean yourself up – there are some people I want you to meet.”

 

 

 

An hour later, Tina and Rachel walked into a wine bar, as Rachel waved at the three women sitting at a table. 

 

“Girls, meet Tina – she’s taken over the ground floor flat.  Tina, this is Olive, Eleanor and Debbie.”

 

“Pleased to meet you,” the grey haired Debbie said.  “So why have you brought her Rachel?”

 

“Tina saw her tonight.”

 

The other women looked at each other as Debbie ordered two bottles of wine, and then said “fresh air and meadow flowers?”

 

“Yeah – a little girl, short sleeved blouse, shorts.  She scared some intruders away – but how did you know?”

 

“We’ve all seen her?”

 

“Who is she?”

 

Debbie poured the wine, and then said “before it was converted to flats, the house was home to a family.  They had a ten year old girl, with blonde pigtails, but she died of cancer in the house.  The family could not live there anymore, so they moved away.  But apparently, the little girl loved the house, and said that she never wanted to leave.”

 

“Are you telling me that I saw a...  A ghost?”

 

“Could be – join the club,” Rachel said quietly, “and give thanks for her...”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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