Doing What They Were Told...
The cold January wind was blowing outside, but in the large apartment Bethany could look out across the park and not worry about feeling the chill. She was off the clock, and being off the clock, she could relax.
Especially with her niece visiting at the moment. Fiona was her brother’s girl, and had come to the city to look into accommodation for when she started a new job here in a couple of months time.
Bethany had changed from her business suit and blouse into a light brown jersey dress, the sleeves tight from just below her elbows to her wrists, and a dark brown cloth belt round her waist held by a large golden clasp at the front. Her legs were covered by a pair of black leather effect leggings, the lower half and feet sitting in a pair of comfortable black suede boots.
She turned and smiled as Fiona came in. Like Bethany, she had light blonde hair, cut short as opposed to the feathered cut her aunt favoured. She was wearing a black and grey striped top, open at the front with a scarf tied loosely round her neck, a black denim skirt, grey tights and a pair of black knee length pirate style boots, with false laces up the front.
“I’m going to book a table for dinner...”
That was all Bethany managed to say before they heard the door to the apartment open, and three people came in. They wore stockings masks that were pulled down and covered their heads, and casual clothing – but one of them had a very real shotgun, which he pointed at both of the women as he said “Get on your knees, both of you, and hands behind your head.”
Bethany and Fiona looked at each other, both frozen in fear as a second man said “you heard him – get on your fucking knees!”
“Okay, okay,” Bethany said as she knelt down, and put her hands behind her head. “Fiona, just do as they say, all right?”
The young woman nodded as they came and stood in front of them. “Right,” the man with the gun said, “I’m A, he’s B, and the lady is C.”
Both of them realised with a shock they hadn’t seen clearly the third person, but now they looked at her, the black leather jacket open at her chest, and her short red hair held down by the stocking.
“What do you want?”
“I’m sorry – did you say something,” A said as he yanked Bethany’s head back, pulling her hair as he did so.
“What do you want – SIR?”
“Better – we’re going to be staying the night, and then you’re going to fetch something from your business for me. And to make sure you do so, C here will be keeping this little lady company. Understand?”
Bethany looked over at Fiona, who was starting to cry, before she said “I understand – just don’t hurt us...”
“Then do as you’re told – tie her up.”
Bethany watched as C knelt behind Fiona and pulled her arms down and behind her back, crossing her wrists before she produced a length of cord from her pocket. She then doubled it and used it to bind Fiona’s wrists tightly together, the cord going around and between her wrists. The masked woman then drew a second length out, and bound Fiona’s ankles tightly together, before making her stand and hop over to a long couch.
Bethany suddenly became aware that her own wrists were being tied together behind her back, as the man who called himself A looked at her.
As she struggled to her feet, the man looked behind her. “Take her round the apartment, makes sure she shows you everything of value.”
“So you’re robbing me?”
“Yes,” A said quietly as she was pulled away. As she was frogmarched to the door, he heard her say “and as for you...”
As she woke with a start, Eleanor wondered what had caused the nightmare she had been having. A masked and armed gang were holding her and Fiona hostage...
It took a few minutes for her to realise it wasn’t a nightmare. First, she realised she could not move, her hands were pressed against her back and her legs were held together. Secondly, there was a knot of silk filling her mouth, and she felt the cloth rubbing on her cheeks as she tried to speak.
And thirdly, as she turned her head she saw Fiona sitting next to her, her eyes closed and her head resting on her shoulder. She was bound tightly, with bands of rope holding her arms to her sides above and below her chest, and her legs below her knees, while a black scarf was pulled between her lips, the knot visible in her mouth.
“Good – you’re awake.”
She looked up to see A and B standing there, before they released her legs and made her stand up, Fiona falling over so that her head hit the cushions.
“Take her upstairs,” A said to C as she came in, “let her shower and change for work. Then we’ll tell you what you’re going to do.”
Eleanor nodded as she walked up the stairs and into the bathroom, the masked woman untying her arms and wrists and leaving her alone. She’d watched them destroy her cell phone and the apartment phone the previous night, and Fiona had to be her priority, so she stripped off and stood under the shower, hoping the ordeal would soon be over.
“You promise she will be unhurt?”
“Oh don’t worry,” C said as she stroked Fiona’s cheek with the back of her gloved hand, “I’ll take very good care of her...”
Fiona tried to move her head away, but given she was lying on her stomach, and her ankles were pulled back and secured to her chest ropes, she had no way of stopping the masked woman as B took her aunt’s arm. She was wearing a grey jacket and skirt, with matching heels and a blue blouse.
“Just go into your office, empty the contents of the safe into the bag I give you, and bring it out to the car,” A said, “and this will all be over...”
Fiona was eventually released by police after her aunt raised the alarm, but the gang of kidnappers and extortionists got away with over fifty thousand dollars. The local law authorities thought this was just another robbery with coercion – but in the next county a week later, that theory was proven to be wrong.
“Loretta darling, are you ready for school yet?”
“Give me five minutes Mom,” the eighteen year old called down the stairs as Dolly looked at herself in the mirror. The realtor was in her mid fifties, but thought she looked ten years younger with her white blonde hair piled up in a beehive. She was due to see two clients that morning before she went into her office, so was wearing a grey jacket and knee length skirt, a white tope under the jacket, and a pair of mid length cream leather boots.
As she looked at herself in the mirror, she picked up a large white headscarf with large grey dots, rolled it into a loose band and tied it over her shoulders.
“Coming,” her daughter said as she ran down the stairs. Her daughter had long blonde hair that fell over the shoulders of her brown cable knit sweater. That was over a long sleeved black blouse, which she wore with a daisy brooch at her collar, black jeans and knee length burgundy riding boots.
“Get out to the car,” Dolly said as she went to fetch her purse, “I’ll be there in a minute.”
“All right Mom,” she heard Loretta say as she went into the front room – but when she came back her daughter was still in the hallway. Her eyes were wide open over the leather gloved hand that covered her mouth, as her mother looked at the two men and woman who were standing there, dark stockings covering their heads and obscuring their features.
“Change of plan, Dolly,” one of them said as he indicated the front room, “inside, and sit down, hands on your head.”
“Oh my god,” Dolly whispered as she walked in, Loretta frog marched behind her before the hand was taken away.
“Not a word,” the man said as he pushed a cloth into the young girl’s mouth, and then wound black tape round her head, trapping her hair and covering her mouth. “B, make sure she stays in one place. Now, Dolly, my friend C here is going to accompany you this morning – and if you make any sign of alerting the authorities as to the fact we have your daughter hostage, we kill her. Understand?”
“It’s all right, Loretta,” Dolly said as she watched the second man pull her daughter’s hands behind her back, and start to secure them together, “I’ll do whatever they say, so long as they do not hurt you.”
Loretta nodded as she felt the rope bite into her wrists, before the man she had heard called B took from A a longer length of rope, and used it to force her arms into the sides of her body, the doubled over bands sitting above and below her chest as he pulled tighter with each pass. B then pushed her down onto the chair, watching as he knelt down, crossed her ankles and lashed them tightly together, before securing her legs together below her knees, each time passing the rope between her legs to tighten it.
It only took ten minutes, and she was lying face down, the heels of her boots resting on her bottom as her ankles were secured to her chest ropes. She looked at her mother as the masked woman took her by the arm, and walked her out of the house.
“Now,” A said as he looked at Loretta, “you’re going to be a good little girl, aren’t you?”
Loretta nodded, afraid of what might happen...
As Dolly opened her office, C walked in behind her, the dark glasses covering her eyes now, and made sure she locked the door behind her, keeping the sign on the door at CLOSED.
“Safe – now,” she said as she pushed the barrel of her handgun into Dolly’s side, the older woman nodding as she led her into the office, and opened the safe door.
“Good – sit down,” C said as she indicated her desk chair, and then produced some lengths of cord from her jacket pocket. As Dolly took her seat, she walked round and pulled her wrists behind the chair back, lashing them together and then tying them down to the back support. She then walked round and secured her ankles together, before pulling them under the seat and tying them to the central column. A third length went around her legs below her knees, as Dolly tried to wriggle round.
She then stood up and walked round, Dolly sitting still as her scarf was taken off, and then pulled between her lips, C wrapping it round twice before tying the ends together at the base of her neck. She then emptied the contents of the safe into her large purse, Dolly unable to stop her as she smiled, and walked out.
Dolly eventually managed to raise the alarm, and police found her daughter secured, gagged, but otherwise unharmed at home. They alerted the State authorities, having heard of the incident the previous week, but by then the trio seemed to have disappeared.
Such was not the case, however – when they struck elsewhere a week later, the roles of those they captured were somewhat reversed...
Hannah smiled as she handed the small bag over to the happy couple, and watched them leave. Her bespoke jewellery business was doing well, a fact she attributed to her hard work and the support of her mother.
On this particular day, she was wearing a long sleeved black lace minidress, and over the knee black suede boots, her chestnut brown hair falling over her shoulders.
As she heard the bell, she looked up to see a blonde haired woman standing at the doorway. Pressing the button under the counter, she smiled as the woman came in, and said “good afternoon. How can I help you?”
“Well,” the blonde said as she walked over, “I’m looking for something as a thank you to a lady who has helped me a great deal recently. A small momento, if you will.”
“Well, that sounds like a wonderful idea – is she someone very special?”
“Oh yes, she is,” the woman said as she took out her phone, “I can show you a picture, if that would be any help?”
“I always find seeing the person in question is very helpful,” Hannah said with a smile as the blonde looked on her phone.
“Here she is,” she said with a smile as she handed the phone over. Hannah stared for a few minutes at the picture of the older woman, wearing a black v-necked jersey dress with a red top underneath, a wide black leather belt around her waist, purple tights and black knee length suede boots.
“I’m sorry,” Hannah said eventually, “for a moment there I thought you had a picture of my mother.”
“Well,” the blonde said quietly as she reached into her purse, and drew out a gun, “that would be because it is your mother. Now, very quietly and slowly, lock the front door and indicate the store is closed.”
“Oh god,” Hannah whispered as she walked over to the door, the armed woman watching the whole time as she locked it and turned the sign round. As she walked back, she heard the cell phone ring.
“A – yes I’m inside and the door is locked. Put her on.” The blonde passed the phone over to Hannah, and said “It’s for you.”
As Hannah took the phone, she heard her mother say quietly “Hannah?”
“Listen very carefully,” she heard her mother say, “there are two masked men here with me, and they have guns. They say... They say if you don’t so what the woman there tells you to do...”
“MOM!” Hannah looked at the blonde, and then said “let me talk to one of them.”
“She wants to talk to you,” she heard her mother say, before there was a muffled gasp and a male voice said “listen very carefully. Do what we say, Mommy only gets to be uncomfortable for a little while. Don’t, and...”
Hannah gasped as she heard her mother, and then said “All right, all right – I’ll do what she says.”
“Good girl,” the man said as the line went dead. Hannah looked at the blonde, who smiled and said “now, take this bag, and empty the jewels into it. Don’t take too long.”
Nodding and trying not to cry, Hannah took the bag and started to tip the trays into the velvet bag she had been handed, emptying the shelves completely.
“Good – safe?”
“I... I don’t have one. That’s in my workshop at home.”
“Well, my friends will deal with that in that case,” the woman said as she took the bag. “Now, lie face down.”
Hannah slowly lowered herself to the ground, offering no resistance as the woman crossed her wrists behind her back and secured them together with a plastic zip tie. A second one was used to secure her ankles, before she was rolled over and a strip of sticking plaster pressed firmly down over her lips.
“Have a nice day,” the woman said as she walked off, leaving Hannah to struggle on the floor, before she saw the small tool on the ground...
Hannah ran into her house, and called out again, before she heard the muffled calling from the front room. As she ran in, she saw her mother, lashed to the chair with her legs bound to the front legs and layers of rope around her upper body, a wide strip of white tape covering her mouth...
Three hits in three weeks – and then a week later, the last time the gang of three struck, this time at the home of a bank manager...
Morag screamed through the tape and cloth sitting under the covering on her mouth as she wriggled round. She was wearing a black coat dress, buttoned up the front, but the top two buttons had come undone as the material had been stretched over her chest, courtesy of the two bands of rope that framed them and held her arms tightly against her sides.
Her wrists were also crossed and secured behind her back, while the stiletto heels of her knee length black suede boots sat on her bottom, the green hose stretched so that it was almost translucent both by the bending and by the band of rope around and between her legs below her knees.
“Well if you don’t want us to hurt her,” the man who had introduced himself as A when they stormed in said, “then do what we tell you to do in the morning. In the meantime, your wife gets the same treatment as you.”
She watched as the woman – C she had been called – bent her wife’s legs and secured her crossed and bound ankles to the bands of rope around her chest. While her had long dark hair, her wife had long light brown hair, and was wearing a long grey sleeveless tunic over a black long sleeved top, dark hose and black leather over the knee boots. Her wrists were also crossed and secured, while there was rope around her legs below her knees as well as on top of her black leather belt.
“It’s all right,” she gasped as she tried to move, “just doohwwtthsseendllbffnn.”
Her words were muffled by the sponge ball the second man – B, of course – had pushed into her mouth, before the tape was pressed firmly over her mouth and chin.
“Now then,” A said quietly, “have a nice night – and in the morning, you can open the vault for us...”
She looked over, trying to say sorry with her eyes as her wife closed her eyes, and slowly nodded. This was a bank robbery, and there was nothing they could do about it...
“Heh – that was a good one.”
The man smiled as his wife turned the television off, his brother bringing two new drinks in.
“I see they cut some stuff out though?”
“Yeah well, of course they would – so, who do we visit next...”