“Gotta admit, it was a great idea of yours to come down to your parents place for the weekend before the exams,” Lucy said as she came into the kitchen.
“Well, we all need some time out before the fun begins,” her housemate Matilda said as she sat at the kitchen table. She and Lucy shared a house in Bristol with three other second year students, and they had grown to be close friends together. When they realised the exams were coming up, Matilda had suggested they spend a few days at her parent’s farm while they were on holiday – and opportunity all five of them had jumped at.
“So are the twins up yet?”
“Nope – no sign of Nadia yet either. Breakfast?”
“Help yourself,” Matilda said as she indicated the cupboard. The blonde had her hair held up in a bun, and was wearing a black fleece with “HEART OF ENGLAND” in gold down the sleeves, and the crest of the Pony Club on the back. A pair of black jeans covered her legs, and white socks covered her feet.
Lucy was wearing a light grey jumper under a padded fawn jerkin, and tan jodhpurs, her dark hair pulled back and secured in a small ponytail at the back of her head. She opened the cupboard and took out some mugs, and then cut some bread as the door to the kitchen opened.
“Good morning,” Nadia said as she came in, adjusting the blue scarf that covered her head and shoulders as she sat down. The long sleeved green jumper she was wearing had slits cut in it that revealed her black undershirt, while her legs were in a pair of matching black pants, the lower legs sitting in a pair of over the knee brown leather boots.
“Want some coffee, Nadia,” Lucy said as the young Muslim girl sat down.
“Thank you – so what are the plans for today?”
“None really – the workers look after the farm, so if you want to go for a walk later?”
“Thank you, but no – I need to do some revision this morning, and then no more after that. Where are Jane and Joan?”
“They’ll be up eventually,” Matilda said as she accepted a mug, “want to go for a walk, Lucy?”
“Yeah, why not – just let me get my boots on.”
She picked up a pair of black suede boots and pulled them on, the sides coming wither side of her knees as Matilda put on a pair of black riding boots and tightened the straps at the back.
“Have fun,” Nadia said as she turned on the radio, cutting some bread as she heard the announcer say “Police have warned local residents to be on the lookout for two escaped prisoners...”
In fact, the first she knew this was not going to be a normal day was when she felt a hand over her mouth, and heard a strange male voice saying “Don’t panic – we just need a place to stay and some time to think...”
“So where do you think the others have gone – it’s very quiet down there,” Jane said as she sat on the bed and pulled on her burgundy leather boots, the cuffed tops coming to just below her knees. They covered a pair of blue jeans, while her long hair fell over a cream coloured jacket and black top.
Joan, her twin sister, was wearing a blue checked blouse with a large shawl wrapped round her neck, dark denim jeans and light tan knee length pirate style leather boots. She checked her reflection in the mirror and said “Well, let’s get some breakfast, and then we can find them.”
“It’s nearly twelve,” Jane said as she stood up, “but never mind, let’s see what we can find to eat.”
As they walked down the stairs, they heard the radio on in the front room, but made their way instead to the kitchen, Jane putting the kettle on as Joan found some cold meat and butter, and then cut some slices of bread.
“Want me to see if Nadia wants anything?”
“Go on – I’ll make extra just in case,” Jane said as Joan put the knife down, and then made her way to the front room.
“Nadia, I was wondering if...”
She stares at the young woman sitting on the floor in front of the couch, her eyes wide open over the white band than encircled her head and covered her mouth, shaking her head as she said “Gttttjnnnn!”
“Don’t move,” Joan heard as she felt the gun in her side, and looked at Nadia. There were bands of rope around her arms and chest, holding them firmly in place as her wrists were pinioned behind her back, and further bands around her ankles, her legs below her knees and her thighs. She could hear the squeak of leather as Nadia moved round, and then heard the voice say “Slowly, very slowly, put your hands behind your back.”
“What’s going on,” Joan said quietly as she saw a young man walk in front of her, dark haired and wearing a blue shirt and jeans, holding one of Matilda’s father’s shotguns as he said “you heard my friend, slowly move your hands behind your back.”
As she did so, Nadia groaned and shook her head, struggling to get free from the ropes, and at the same time knowing it was useless. The cloth in her mouth was making speaking difficult, even without the tape wound tightly round her head.
She watched as the second intruder bound Joan’s wrists behind her back. He was older, with greying hair, and smiled as he wrapped the rope around and between the young girl’s wrists, and then tied it off out of reach of her fingers.
“Go and see who else is at home,” he said as he pushed Joan towards Nadia, Joan saying “Who are they” as she felt more rope around her arms, pulling her elbows together behind her back as her chest was forced out.
“Fnndeee,” Nadia mumbled as she twisted round, the man laughing as he made Joan sit down.
“So what did Nadia say?”
“I cannot be certain, but in think it was get out Joan – does that sound like something she would say?”
Jane turned suddenly to see the young man pointing the shot gun at her, as he said “no sudden movements, no call for help – just do what I say, all right?”
Looking at the sink, he said “Take that cloth there, roll it up and put it in your mouth.”
“Where’s my sister and our friend?”
“Just do as I tell you,” he said in reply as he pulled back the hammer on the shotgun, “now.”
Nodding, Jane picked up the cloth and wrung it out, hoping it didn’t make her sick as she pushed it into her mouth, and then watched as he held out a roll of white tape. “Wrap that round your head, don’t want that slipping out,” he said with a smile, watching as Jane sealed the cloth into her mouth.
“Good,” he said as he walked behind her, placing the gun on the kitchen table before he pulled her wrists behind her back, and started to bind them tightly together with rope. She grunted as she felt the rope bite into her skin, and then pull her arms into her sides as he bound them with ropes bands above and below her chest.
“Move,” he said as he pushed Jane towards the door, her jacket pulled to her sides as she walked into the front room.
“Twin sister, nice,” she heard as she looked at the second man, and then at Joan, who was lying on the couch. Her ankles had been crossed and lashed together, the white rope visible over the light brown leather, and then her legs below her knees, before her ankles had been pulled back and secured to the rope between her elbows. She looked over at her sister, her cheeks puffed and white tape over her mouth, and nodded as Jane sat on the floor, her legs stretched out as they were secured at the ankles, below the knees and the thighs.
As she looked over, Nadia managed to get on her knees, and shuffle round in a particular direction, before she started to bow her body up and down.
“What does she think she’s doing?”
“Praying – it’s midday.”
The two men watched her until she had finished, and she then sat back down again, the sound of leather squeaking as their boots rubbed on themselves and the rope the only noise.
“Looks like there are two others staying here – any idea where they are?”
“Probably outside, but they’ll be back soon enough. Once we have them, we can get cleaned up and changed, and then figure out where we go next.”
They looked over as the door opened, the second man grabbing the gun as the first put his finger to his lips and looked at the three girls.
“I wonder if the other three are up and about yet,” Matilda said as she and Lucy walked in.
“Possibly – although it is awfully quiet round here. Wonder where they are?”
“They’re safe – and so will you be, so long as you do exactly what we tell you,”
“What the hell...” Matilda looked at the man pointing the shotgun at them, as he said “into the front room, both of you – your friends are in there already.”
Lucy and Matilda looked at each other, and then walked in to see the other three struggling and trying to warn them.
“Tie them up,” the armed man said to the second intruder, who grabbed some ropes and walked behind Matilda, pulling her arms behind her back and starting to bind them tightly together as she looked at Jane and Joan.
“What are you doing in my house,” she said as she felt the rope pulled tightly round her arms.
“We need a change of clothes, some food, some money, and a way out of here,” the armed man said as his partner pulled Lucy’s wrists behind her back and started to tie them together, “so you can both shut up until we get you as quiet as your friends here, and then we can get ourselves sorted out.”
As Lucy felt the rope been tied off behind her back, the second man said “sit back to back on the floor.” As they did this, the armed man put the shotgun down, and grabbed more rope, binding Matilda’s ankles tightly together as his partner secured Lucy’s, the white rope sinking into the black cloth and leather before their legs were secured below their knees.
As one of the men then started to bind their upper bodies together, the second one took two napkins from the table, and said “open your mouths.” The two girls did this, feeling the cloth as it was pushed into their mouths, and then white tape wrapped round their heads to keep it in place.
“Right then,” he said as he picked up the gun again, and sat, looking at the five girls, “you go and shower, clean yourself up, see if you can find some clothes, while I watch them.”
As the second man walked out of the room, Matilda tried to speak, but all she heard was “Wtttlmyprntsgthhmmm.”
“If they get back before we go,” the man said with a smile, “they get to be just like you. So shut up and relax – this will all be over before you know it.”
“Thank you,” Nadia said as the tape was cut away from her head, and the cloth eased from her mouth, before the younger of the two men held a glass and allowed her to sip from a straw the cold water.
“Well, I guessed you must be getting dry,” he said with a smile as the young woman tried to move her legs, the others listening to the squeak as she did so.
“Must I stay tied up?”
“Yes,” he said quietly, “for your own sake. My friend can get very nervous if you are not.” He was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans that belonged to Matilda’s older brother, as well as a pair of trainers. He almost looked handsome as well, now he was cleaned up and had shaven.
“Ruullknngthm,” Lucy said from behind Matilda’s back.
“Yes thank you,” Nadia said quietly.
“Now, I need to bind you so that you really cannot raise the alarm, and keep your quiet. Open your mouth for me please.”
Nadia nodded as she opened her mouth, and tasted the faint hint of perfume as a folded blue silk square was pushed into her mouth. She then heard the sound of tape been torn from a roll, and put her lips together as strips of silver tape were smoothed over her mouth, before she was helped to lie on the couch, and then on her stomach.
She felt the ropes tighten round her legs as her ankles were pulled back, and then secured to her chest ropes, before he walked over to Jane and removed her gag, allowing her to take a drink as well.
“Nice place,” the older man said as he came down wearing a white shirt, flannels and a checked jacket. “What are you doing?”
“Giving them a drink,” the other man said as he pushed a folded scarf into Jane’s mouth and tape gagged her, before allowing Joan to have a drink and then be regagged. He then made Jane lie on the floor, turning her over and pulling her legs back until her ankles were secured to her chest.
“What about these two?”
“Untie them from each other,” the younger man said, “and then we’ll make them go upstairs. Make it harder for them to free each other.”
“Ndnnttdththt,” Joan said from the other couch as Matilda and Lucy were separated and made to stand. As they were frogmarched across the room, their leather boots squeaked and groaned from the rubbing, before they were made to jump up the stairs.
“On the bed,” the older man said, Lucy gasping as she was pushed forward onto the bed, lying across it as Matilda landed next to her. They looked at each other as their ankles were pulled back, but unlike the other three downstairs Matilda’s ankles were tied to Lucy’s chest ropes, and visa versa.
Matilda looked at the room, the contents of the drawers lying around the floor, and groaned as she saw the empty jewellery boxes and safe.
“We’re going to borrow your car, hope you don’t mind,” the older man said as he held the car keys up, and then the two men walked out, the two girls looking at each other and struggling to get free.
Nadia was glad the younger man had left her facing the direction she was in, as she started praying again, the twins watching as the two men walked out of the house, and they heard a car start. They looked at each other, wondering what was going to happen as they looked at each other.
“Wrggnnhftwrktgfr,” Matilda said as she looked at Lucy, “whneesyy, mffwfmm.”
Lucy nodded as Matilda started to wriggle on the bed, the two of them moving together as they edged to the side of the bed, and then dropped off, Lucy grunting as her knees hit the floor.
“Bdssddrwrr – ssrss?”
She nodded as they shuffled to the side, again moving slowly together before she managed to lean over and open the drawer, seeing the long scissors inside.
She nodded as she held the handle and they shuffled back, the drawer coming out and landing on the floor before she was able to get the scissors in one hand, Matilda leaning into her so that Lucy could start to cut the rope holding her friend to her.
It was getting dark in the room as Nadia looked up and saw Matilda and Lucy come in, rubbing their wrists as they did so.
“I’ll find my handbag, call for help,” Lucy said as Matilda knelt next to Nadia, and removed the tape, easing the cloth from her mouth.
“Thank you,” she said quietly, “take care of the others first, and then me. We can talk after that...”