Newcastle upon Tyne
“Mum – I’m home.”
As Karen closed the door to the house she shared with her mother in Gosforth, she could hear the news on the television, and said “do you want to order some Chinese” as she walked to the door. As she did so, the sight in the main room took her by surprise – as did the pressure against her back, as a young female voice said “nice and slowly, take that scarf and hold it out to the side.
“Mum – are you all right,” Karen said as the older woman nodded. Slowly, carefully, she unwound from around her neck the peach coloured woollen scarf, and held it as she saw a hand grab it.
“Keep your hands by your side, and open your mouth.”
“Just do as I say.”
As Karen’s mother nodded, she opened her mouth, tasting the wool on her tongue as the scarf was pulled between her lips, wrapped round and pulled in again, before the ends were knotted behind her. Her lips could barely close over the band, as the material pressed in on her head.
“Good – now take your coat off, let it drop to the floor, and put your hands behind your back.”
“Heelhn,” Karen mumbled as she slowly unbuttoned her purple coat, letting it fall to the floor as she stood in her grey sweater, trousers and knee length black leather boots.
“Thfhllhddmmm,” her mother replied from where she was sitting in the armchair. She watched as whoever was behind Karen took her arms. She knew what was happening – rope wrapped round her wrists to keep them where she could not use her hands. She could feel the band around her own wrists with her fingers – but the knot was well out of her reach.
Karen grunted as the rope was pulled tighter, and then she was pushed over to the couch. Sitting down, she saw who had captured her – a young girl, a little younger than Karen, wearing a denim jacket and jeans.
“Oh goodie – the daughter came home did she?”
As she looked to the door, she saw a young man dressed in denim as well, as he held a carry out bag in his hand. She then saw the girl kneel in front of her, and use what she now realised was some washing line to tie her ankles together. Looking at her mother, she said “Hmmm?”
Her mother slowly nodded. She was wearing a black jumper, a denim skirt and black leather boots, but she also had her wrists and ankles tied, and a black scarf pulled between her lips.
She had come home on the bus as usual, nothing out of the ordinary, and walked from the stop to her front door – and that was when the two youngsters had pushed her inside. The next thing she knew, they had used her scarf to gag her, made her take off her coat, and tied her hand and foot before the young man had left.
She looked at Karen as the girl said “relax – we’re not after your money or your valuables. We just need a place to stay, and a chance to get away before anyone knows we’ve been here.
“Well, on that note, we used your card to pay for the food – hope you didn’t mind,” the young man said as Karen glared at him. She could feel the scarf absorbing her saliva, as she looked at her mother – and wondered what was going to happen next.
“I suppose I should thank you,” Karen’s mother said as she sipped her cold drink through the straw, “that you at least let us have something to eat and drink.”
“Like I said, we don’t want you to be hurt,” the girl said as her partner finished tying the older woman’s legs together below her knees, before he walked over to Karen. Her peach scarf hung down on her chest, the dark patch from where it had been between her lips visible, as he allowed her to have a drink of water. The remains of a plate of nuggets and chips were on the low table in front of both women, as she twisted her legs round. He had secured them together above and below her knees, her boots squeaking as her legs rubbed together.
Karen nodded, and then felt the wool on her tongue again as he replaced the gag, tying it more tightly as his partner did the same to Karen’s mother. He then helped Karen to lie on her side, the rope he had tied round her arms and body rubbing as she looked to where her mother was sitting, now bound and gagged in the same way. As they turned the television on and the lights off, the young man sat with them as the woman went up the stairs…
When Karen opened her eyes, the light was starting to filter through the curtains, and the Breakfast news was playing. Her mother was still asleep, her head to one side, her eyes closed – but there was no sign of the young couple. Instead, she heard the milkman say “want me to bring the bottles in” and then he appeared in the doorway, staring at them as he said “what the…”
Amy looked up from the paper she was studying when the bus came to a stop. It had been a long day at college, and she was looking forward to a quiet night at home. Her dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and the red and white diamond patterned scarf was wrapped loosely round her neck.
She had not taken a coat that day – not thinking it would get quite so cold – so she was wearing a blue cardigan over a white top, faded jeans, and a pair of knee length brown leather boots. The other passengers were ignoring her – and she liked it that way, standing up and pressing the button as she approached her stop.
Stepping off, she didn’t notice the other passengers as they got off and went in all directions – her focus was on getting into her own flat, and having some her time. As a result, she didn’t hear the two sets of footsteps behind her as she approached the four storey building and typed in the access code.
She looked at the young couple, the woman in a grey jersey dress and a black leather jacket, the man in a blue Harrington jacket and jeans, and said “visiting?”
“Yeah – it’s s surprise visit, so thanks for letting us in,” she said with a smile as they walked up to the third floor, Amy taking out her keys as she did so. It was only after she put the key into the lock and turned it she realised the couple were behind her.
“Who was it you were making a surprise visit to?”
“You,” the man said as he pushed the door open and his partner grabbed Amy’s arm, walking her in as he followed and closed the door. Before Amy had a chance to react, she was pushed over to the wall, and her scarf was lifted up, then pulled between her lips twice as it was used as a gag.
“Thank you for inviting us to dinner,” the girl said with a smile.
“Oh we’re just stopping by,” the man said as he took a length of thin cord from his jacket pocket, while the woman took Amy’s hands behind her back. She barely had time to try and struggle before her wrists were secured together with the cord, the binding around and between her arms tight and firm.
“Let’s go and have a look round,” she said as she marched Amy into the front room of her flat, pushing her onto a chair as her partner knelt down and used more cord to bind her ankles together. She could see what he was doing as the shock abated - turning into anger as she screamed “SMMBDEEEHLLPMMMMM”
“Keep calm,” the girl said quietly, “if you struggle, you puke, and if you puke, that scarf stops it coming out. Not nice.”
Amy stared at her as she realised what shew as saying, and nodded as she looked at both of them.
“Do you know, I fancy a shower and perhaps I could borrow some of your clothes?”
Amy looked at her, and shook her head before the man said “you don’t have a choice. Just sit there and be quiet.” He turned the television on and headed to the kitchen area, as the girl smiled at Amy, and walked off.
“That was a delicious meal, darling – thank you.”
“Well, when you look so good, it was a pleasure to please you,” he said as the girl stood up from the table, looking at Amy. She had indeed changed into one of her outfits – a brown jersey dress with a low neckline, and Amy had to admit it did suit her.
The man took the plates into the kitchen, and then returned with a roll of silver duct tape. Walking behind Amy, he made her sit upright, and then wound the tape tightly around her arms and body, forming a band around her stomach and one above her chest, as the girl said “we’ll be on our way soon – but we’ll make sure you are comfortable first.”
“Oh yes we can,” the man said as he tore the tape free and patted it down, then handed it to the girl, who knelt down and started to tape Amy’s legs together, one band below her knees and over the tops of her boots, the second round her thighs. By now, the scarf in her mouth was soaking wet, but it was still firmly in place as she tried to move again.
Amy grunted as the man lifted her onto his shoulder, kicking her legs up and down in protest as he carried her into her bedroom, and dropped her onto her bed. She had to watch as the woman gathered her clothes into a bag, and then they both waved at her as they walked out of the room, out of the flat, and left her struggling and trying to get free…
They watched her as they travelled down the road on the bus, looking at her phone. She was in her forties, they guessed, her green headscarf covering her head and neck. The dark blue parka covered a black and white diamond pattern blouse over a black jumper, black leggings and knee length black leather boots.
Eventually, she stood up, and they followed her off the bus, along the road and then watched as she turned up a garden path, fishing in her pocket for a set of door keys. They were patient, they knew what they were doing – and as she opened the door they quickly made their way up the path, and pushed her into the house.
She turned quickly and looked at them, in their jumpers, jeans and trainers, and demanded to know what they wanted – but they said they were just there for a visit, before he rook out of his jacket pocket a roll of silver duct tape, and told her to take her coat off.
Well, she said she would not – at which point he asked if she would rather he took her scarf off and gagged her with that. He knew that was something one of her faith would not allow – so she nodded and removed her coat, before he walked behind her, tearing the end of the tape free from the roll. He wrapped it round her head, covering her mouth as the scarf protected her hair from the adhesive, but making four or five passes so that she could not call for help.
They then made her walk into the front room, and directed her to sit in a wooden armchair. As she did so, the young girl put her hands onto the armrests, palm down, before the man taped them to the wooden support – and taped her arm to the support below her elbow as well.
They then knelt in front of her, the woman moving her ankle so that it was against the front leg of the chair, and the man taping it tightly in place. When they had done that to both legs, he moved behind her, and wound more tape around her waist and the chair back – so that in the end, she could barely move.
She looked at both of them, wondering what they would do next. Rob her? Hurt her? So when they turned the television on, and left her to watch as they left the room, she wondered what was going on. Her befuddlement only increased as they came back with two plates of food and two glasses of milk, sitting and talking to each other as they ate and drank.
And then they left the room, and she heard the dishwasher start – and the front door open and close. She was left there, wondering what had just happened, and wondering how long it would be before her husband came home…
Soo was in a world of her on as she sat on the tram – the day had been a long one, and she was glad it was over. As she looked at the rest of the passengers on the tram, they all looked as she felt – tired, bored, wanting to get home.
The cuffs of the sleeves of her brown jumper were peeking out from the sleeves of her pink coat, the colour of the jumper matching her knee length pirate style boots. The legs of her jeans were tucked into the boots, and a long grey scarf was wrapped round her neck.
Eventually, the tram came to a stop and she got off, her brown hair brushing her scarf and the collar of her coat as she felt the light wind on her face. She set off for the short walk to her front door, as some of the other passengers headed the same way as her.
As she walked along, however, an idea of how she could spend her time came to her – and it would pass the time before her partner came home. That made her feel happier, as she stopped outside the door of her house, and fetched the keys from her handbag.
Opening the door, she smiled to herself – and then was taken by surprise as she was lifted in, and the door closed behind her.
“Hey – we’re paying a surprise visit on you.”
She turned to see a young couple who had been on the tram – she was wearing a blue smock top, black leggings and low heeled shoes, and he had on a grey sweatshirt, black jeans and black shoes.
“A Surprise Visit? As in – are you robbing me?”
“Not really – but we do want to visit you,” he said with a smile, “and you do need to be quiet. Please, take off your scarf and hand it to me.”
Soo looked at them, and said “may I make a request? I am not going to stop you, but one of you should take the bag in that cupboard out.” As she spoke, she unwound her scarf and handed it to him, while the young woman took the bag out of the hall cupboard, opened it, and then looked at her.
“Make sure I really cannot stop you doing whatever it is you wish to do,” Soo said quietly before she opened her mouth, the man pulling the wool scarf between her lips and wrapping it round again before he knotted the ends together at the base of her neck. She could barely close her lips over the band as it pressed on her cheeks, but then he looked in the bag and said “are you sure?”
Soo nodded as she took her coat off and let it drop to the floor, then turned and faced the wall as she put her hands behind her back. She then smiled over the wool as she felt the soft rope he used to secure her wrists tightly together, the way he took it round and between her arms telling her he knew what he was doing.
He then took a much longer length out, and passed it round her arms and body, pulling it tight below her chest as he then wound it above and below.
“It is rare we find someone who wants to play along,” the girl said as Soo turned her head to look at her. “Thank you.”
“Uhrrwhlchm,” Soo said as she felt her arms forced more and more into her sides, before he tied it off, and then used two shorter length sot cinch the bands between her arms and her body.
Soo wriggled round and nodded as she walked into the front room, sitting down as the woman took more rope from the bag, and crossed her ankles before she bound them tightly together. “There was an Indian down the road,” she said as she looked at the man, “why don’t you go and see if you can get something for us to eat.”
As she tied the rope between her legs, he nodded as he left, the woman looking at Soo as she said “you like being like this, don’t you?”
The Chinese girl slowly nodded as she watched the woman take more rope and start to tie her legs together below her knees. She could feel the wool starting to absorb the moisture in her mouth, as the woman tied the band off, and looked at her.
“Normally, this is as far as we go – I wonder if you want more?”
Soo looked at her and then nodded as she turned herself round and lay on her back. The woman went to the bag, and took another length out, slipping it under her waist and tying it round there as the long ends fell down her.
Soo did that, and then felt the hand as it went between her legs, pulling the rope through and up as Soo groaned softly, while the women tied the ends to her chest ropes. She then rolled onto her side as some cushions were strategically placed in front of her.
“What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” the woman said, Soo nodding as she said “swhhwhlluhthk?”
“Nothing – except your time and your hospitality. We’re not robbers – we just like to visit people and make them happy,” the woman said as Soo wriggled slightly. She felt safe now, relaxed – and wondered if they would still be there when her partner returned home…
“This looks interesting.”
“Well, it’s bene a little while,” she said as they looked at the couple talking in the seat opposite them on the local train. One was in her late teens or early twenties, wearing a black cardigan over a grey dress, black tights and knee length black leather boots. She had a thin belt round her waist, and a black scarf wrapped round her neck.
The older woman with her looked like her mother, wearing dark sunglasses and her hair pulled back. A black and grey scarf was wrapped around her neck, over the top of a white lace top, blue jeans and black ankle boots with a flat sole. They were talking quietly, as she looked at him.
“Let’s see where they go,” he said as they stood up, the young couple doing likewise as he put his black gym bag over his shoulder…
“Well, at least we made it home,” Rhoda said as she fished her keys out of the bag, and put one into the lock of the front door. “How does a coffee sound?”
Rhoda turned her head as the door opened, and saw the young couple behind Elaine, the man smiling as he said “hello – now that you’re home, we’re here to pay a little visit.”
“So please, go in,” the woman said to Rhoda, “we don’t want a fuss, do we?”
Rhoda nodded as they walked in, the woman closing the door as she said “good – now don’t worry, we’re not here to steal anything from you – except perhaps some food, some time – and your liberty for a short while. So, Mummy,” she said as she looked at Rhoda, “take your scarf off.”
Rhoda slowly unwound the scarf, before she said “why?”
“To help your daughter be quiet,” the man said as he looked at Elaine, “open your mouth.”
“Mum, she has something against my back,” Elaine said quietly, “please, do as she says.”
“Open wide,” the woman said as she watched Elaine open her mouth, and then Rhoda pulled her scarf between her lips, winding it round twice and trapping her daughter’s long dark hair against her neck, before walking behind Rhoda as the woman walked the other way, and securing the ends together.
“Are you all right,” she whispered, Elaine nodding and saying “Effhnksss” as the man said “good – now, you take your scarf off and us it to keep your mummy quiet.”
Elaine reached up and slowly removed her black wool scarf as Rhoda turned, opening her mouth and tasting the wool as Elaine was made to gag her. The scarf went twice round her neck as well, as she closed her teeth and lips over it while Elaine knotted the ends at the back of her head.
“Very good,” the man said as the two women looked at each other. “Hands behind your backs, please.”
“Jhhssdhhwhtthshhh,” Rhoda mumbled, Elaine nodding as they both moved their hands behind their backs, and felt the thin cords as the two intruders tied their wrists together, and making sure the binding was tight and comfortable.
“I’ll sort some refreshments out for us,” the man said, “make them both a bit more secure, will you dear?”
“Of course, darling,” the woman said as she walked Elaine and Rhoda into their front room, making them sit beside each other on a couch before she walked to the windows and pulled the curtains over. She then took two more lengths of cord out of the gym bag she had carried in, and knelt down, securing the ankles of each of the woman together with the rope around and between their legs. She then secured the legs of both of them together below their knees in the same way, Elaine noting how her tights seemed to lighten under the rope bands.
“Here we go,” the man said as he brought through some food on two plates and put them on a low table. “Sorry you can’t join in, but you are been a most generous host.”
“Whtthhssthss – shmshrttfphrnk.”
“Nope – just a surprise visit,” the woman said as she and her partner sat in the two armchairs, Elaine and Rhoda looking at each other as they sat, ate, drank and talked…
“Well, thank you for allowing us to visit,” the man said as he pulled Rhoda’s ankles back, and secured them to the ropes he had tied round her chest and arms as she lay on the couch.
“Lhkkwhddachs,” she mumbled through the black scarf, the damp patch growing as she looked at Elaine lying on her side on the floor. The ropes around her arms and chest had pulled her cardigan back, as she twisted round.
The young couple looked at them, smiled, waved and then walked out, leaving the two women to wonder what was going on…
“So is it some sort of prank?”
“We have no idea,” the woman said to the assembled police officers in Scotland Yard. “There have been a dozen reports of the same thing – a young man and woman, force their way into a house, bind the woman or women with their own scarves as gags, then just sit around, eat, drink – and then leave them there.”
“All we can say” one of the other officers continued, “is they are heading south.”
The DCI nodded. “Wonder where they will hit next?”
“Very good, very nice,” the man said as Laura tore the silver tape free from the roll, and said “I’m so sorry Chloe.”
The red haired older woman nodded as she turned and looked at Laura, her lips barely closing over the grey wool scarf that had been pulled into her mouth and around her head. Her red hair was in a bun on her head, the silver band holding her arms into her sides, her wrists taped behind her back. She was wearing a grey cowl necked jumper, tight black leather pants, and black ankle boots.
“Why are you doing this,” Sharon asked as the woman held her arm.
“It’s fun – and it’s a surprise for all of you,” the woman said quietly as she looked at Laura. “Now, take your scarf off, and use it to keep your friend here nice and quiet.”
Laura slowly nodded as she unwound the grey chiffon scarf from around her own neck, and then pulled it between Sharon’s lips, taking it round several times as the band pressed the blonde haired woman’s tongue down. She then tied the ends at the base of her neck, as the man said “your turn – take your scarf off, and gag your friend with it.”
Sharon nodded as she unwound the tiger print scarf from her neck, and then used it to gag Laura, forcing her dark hair to her neck as she did so. The three women had just returned by bus from a shopping trip to Chloe’s house – and now this was happening.”
“Good,” the man said as he handed Sharon the roll of duct tape, “now tape her wrists and arms in the same way as your other friend.”
“Why don’t you come with me,” the woman said as he took Chloe by the arm, while she watched Sharon take Laura’s hands behind her back, “we’ll make you comfortable first.” She saw the second roll of tape in the young woman’s hand, and knew what was coming…