Generations in Chairs
Trust me, I had no idea of what was going to happen when I drove up to the front of my house that day – my one concern was going in and making sure the groceries I had ordered had been delivered, and my cleaner had put them away.
I live with my daughter and mother in a large single storey house – it has to be, because we all have a degenerative condition, which means we all use wheelchairs. That doesn’t mean we are not successful or happy – I have my own business, my mother is a published author, and my daughter is going to university in a month or two.
But we never realised just how much we were targets, until that day…
As I said, I was driving home, and more concerned about groceries and preparing dinner than anything else. I was even dressed for a casual day – a tan bomber jacket over brown leggings, a white top under the jacket, and short brown felt boots. The drive was uneventful, so I turned the engine off, and reversed myself out of the back and onto the tarmac. Closed the car, locked it, wheeled myself to the door and let myself in.
And that was when the day took a vastly different turn. As I wheeled myself in, the door closed automatically behind me – and then a gloved hand was clamped over my mouth, and a man stood in front of me, wearing a black jumper and pants, his eyes and mouth the only things I could see of his face.
“Scream and you get hurt,” he said quietly as he showed me a very real and large pistol, “are you going to scream?”
I looked at him, and then slowly shook my head from side to side as he said “good choice. Do not speak unless it is to answer my questions. Again, do you understand?” this time I nodded, and then the hand was taken away as a second person walked round and stood in front of me. I was surprised to see it was a woman – unless they had a padded bra on under the jumper, and if it was a man he liked to wear leggings and knee length boots.
“Put your hands on top of your head, palm down.”
I had a choice? I put my hands down on my long brown hair and watched as the woman opened a bag and took out a length of white rope, then knelt down and put my ankles together. Now, remember I was in a wheelchair – and as a result of my condition, I had no feeling below my waist. So it was strange to watch this masked intruder double over the rope and wrap it round my ankles, then pull it tight as they were forced together.
I looked down as the cords compressed the brown fabric of my boots, the woman wrapping it round my ankles several times before she passed the ends between my legs and tied the ends off. I suspect, if I had felt anything, I would have felt it was impossible to force them apart. I was, however, strangely flattered that they could see I was in a wheelchair, and yet they still felt they had to tie my legs together.
Even more so when she produced a second band of rope, and started to bind my legs together below my knees. She even took the rope between my legs, so that when I looked down there were two white bands, my boots forced against my legs, my legs held together.
Even if I could use them, I knew I would not be able to.
“now,” the man said as he looked at me, “I want you to lean forward and put your hands behind your back.”
I had expected that, so I did as he asked, all the time watching the woman as she took another length of white cord and doubled it over before she walked behind me. I felt her move my arms, and then the rope as it was pulled tight round my wrists to force them together. She did what she did to my ankles – took it round and between my arms, and then tied the ends off out of reach of my fingers.
She then took a longer length of rope – a much longer length as I sat up, and passed it round my upper body, pulling it tight and forcing my arms into my sides just below my chest. This I did feel, as she passed the rope around me several times, above and below my chest, leaving me unable to move my arms as well before she tied it off.
“Now,” the man said quietly, “you can come with me and…”
He stopped as we heard the front door open, the woman putting her gloved hand over my mouth and turning me round again as we watched to see who was coming in…
I had been at a writer’s Guild luncheon, and it was my agent who dropped me off at home. As he got my wheelchair out of the boot of my car, I saw that my daughter was already home – a pleasant surprise.
I had dressed for the occasion – a black sleeveless dress that – flattered me, and knee length black leather boots. I was also wearing the most wonderful diamond and pearl earrings as well as rings and a platinum necklace.
He kindly lifted me into my wheelchair, and gave me my purse, before I waved him off and made my way into the house, the wind blowing through my long dark hair as I wheeled myself up the ramp, into the house – and straight into a nightmare.
My daughter was there – but so were two other people, a man and a woman, dressed in black and with black masks over their heads. The woman was standing behind her, with a gloved hand covering her mouth, and I could see the bands of rope around her legs and body. As for the man, he smiled at me, said “come in, and don’t say a word” and showed me the pistol in his hand.
I nodded as I looked at my daughter, and said “are you all right?” She nodded as the door closed, and then the woman took her hand away as she said “I think we’re being robbed…”
“Good guess,” the man said as he looked at me, “so let’s make a start with you. Take your jewellery off, and put them in this.” He took a small velvet bag out of his pocket and passed it to me, him and the woman watching as I slowly took off each piece of jewellery and then placing each one in the bag.
“Put your mobile phone in there, as well as the contents of your purse,” he then said, smiling as I did what he asked and talked to my daughter. She assured me she was all right, even if she could not move, her coat opening slightly as the ropes pressed on her chest and arms.
When I had put my last card in the bag, the man took it, and the woman took from a bag a long length of white rope, making a lasso at one end and telling me to sit still with my hands together in front of myself, palm to palm. My daughter nodded as I complied, and she put the rope over my head, pulling it tight so that it sat across my stomach and forced my arms into my sides, before she started to wind it round me, making two bands that held my arms firmly against my chest while at the same time framing it above and below.
I felt the rope rubbing on my bare arms as each band was pulled tighter – the rope was soft, but I knew it was going to hold in place – specially as, when she had tied the ends behind me, she fed the ropes under my arms and pulled them up and around the back of my neck before finally securing them. I felt strange, but as she took a shorter length of rope, crossed my wrists in front of me and tied them firmly together as well, I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to untie them.
“Would you be so good as to lift this fine lady and lay her on the couch?”
She spoke with a refined accent, as the masked man put the gun down and then lifted me out of the seat, carrying me over to a long couch and laying me down so that my head was resting on the arm of the couch. As he did this, the woman turned my daughter so that she could see me, and then she took two more lengths of rope from the bag.
No – three lengths, two of which she laid on my stomach as she doubled the third one over, and used it to bind my ankles together. I presume it was tightly – based on the rope round my body and wrists, and the fact I could not feel anything there anyway.
She then secured my legs together below my knees, the bands of white clear on the black leather as I watched – and then she tied the third length between my wrists, and then between my legs as well so that they were held in place.
I wriggled my arms and body a little- surprised at what that made me feel like – before the woman took something surprising from the bag – a three pack of white ankle sports socks. If you can believe it, I had no idea what she was intending to do with them as she opened the bag, and balled a pair together.
But then she brought them over, and – well, the man told me to open my mouth, and the next thing I knew I was tasting clean cotton on my tongue as the two socks were pushed into my mouth, sitting behind my teeth as the edges stuck out between my lips.
“Are you all right, mum?”
I looked at my daughter and nodded, and tried to say I was – but what came out was “hmfhnnn” as the cotton started to absorb the moisture in my mouth. I nodded instead as the man took hold of her wheelchair, and said “let’s go and pay a visit to your office and bedroom,” and wheeled my trussed daughter out. The masked woman looked at me and smiled as she took a seat – obviously to keep an eye on what I was doing.
Which was not a lot- until the front door opened again…
The school bus dropped me off outside my house, my bag on my lap as I waved my friends off. I was wearing a denim jacket and jeans, a white t-shirt under the jacket and pink sneakers on my feet.
Once they were out of sight, I wheeled myself round and saw thew two cars outside the house, which meant my mother and grandmother were home. So I wheeled myself up, pressed the button as the door swung in, and let myself in, calling out “I’m home” as I did so, and putting my bag on the floor before I wheeled myself into the front room – and stared dumbfounded at my grandmother as she lay on the couch.
She wasn’t able to move – no, I really mean she wasn’t able to move, because someone had tied bands of rope around her ankles, legs, body and wrists as she lay on the couch. She stared at me, eyes wide open as her lips parted slightly and I saw the white material behind them.
The word slipped out before I opened my mouth to call for help – but I couldn’t because someone came up behind me and pushed a balled up pair of sports socks into my mouth, filling the gap and muffling my voice. That some then out their hand over my mouth and told me not to shout or scream, or spit the socks out – a woman of all things?
Gran could only shake her head as I looked at her, and then nodded as the hand was taken away – but thinking of pushing the socks out became a moot point, because whoever this woman was then pulled a doubled over length of rope between my lips, the cords rubbing on the corners of my mouth as they were pulled tighter and secured at the back of my neck, under my blonde hair.
We were being robbed – that much was obvious, as I was told to take my jacket off and let it drop to the floor, and then to lean forward and put my hands behind my back. I figured I was going to be tied up, like Gran.
Well, I was half right, because I heard a rough peeling sound, and then my wrists were put together behind my back before I felt tape tugging on the akin on my wrists, and they were tightly taped together. I then saw her as she walked in front of me – the mask covering her head – and she stuck the tape to my right arm, before she wound it round my arms and body, making two silver bands that framed my chest while at the same time holding my arms against my sides.
I had read a lot of stories where the plucky heroine had been bound and gagged, but I confess I had never wondered what it must be like. But here I was, the damsel in distress – and would you think the less of me if I said I felt a little excited at the same time as been petrified about what was happening?
Gran could only squirm her upper body and arms – all of us have useless legs – while the masked woman finished taping my arms to my sides while I flexed my fingers.
“Who was it?”
“The daughter – want me to bring her through?”
“Once you’ve secured her.”
“You heard the man,” she said with a smile as she knelt down in front foe m, and then taped my ankles together, as well as my legs below and above my knees…
I was helpless, unable even to call for help as the masked woman taped my little baby’s legs together while she wriggled in her chair, the rope pulling back the corners of her mouth as I saw the edges of the white socks between her lips.
I smiled as she looked at me before the woman stood up, and walked over to me, the roll of grey tape in her gloved hands. I looked at her as she tore a strip off, and then pressed it down onto my face, covering my lips and then joined by some others as she made sure I was going to keep these damp socks in my mouth.
I had to watch as she wheeled my baby away, praying she would be all right…
“Oh my god,” I said as I watched the masked man emptying one of my jewellery cases into his bag, “my daughter?”
“Don’t worry, I’m sure she’s fine,” he said with a smile as I looked to the door, and she was wheeled in, the tape that was holding her arms to her sides crinkling as she tested round, and the rope between her lips keeping something white in there.
“Are you… Have they…”
She shook her head and mumbled “nhhhmhlrhthtmhm” as the masked female looked at me.
“Take her to her room, make her comfortable there,” he said as they left the room, and then he looked at me.
“I think we’re about done here,” he said with a smile, “don’t move.”
“I can move? It’s a miracle,” I laughed out as he went into my sock drawer, and took out a pair of long white socks. Rolling one up, he looked at me and said the words I had been dreading.
“Open your mouth wide.”
I knew I had no choice, so I opened my mouth as wide as I could, and he pushed the rolled up sock in, before he stretched the second one in his hands, then pulled it between my teeth and used it as a cleave gag by tying it round my head. It hurt a little bit, but it was certainly going to keep me quiet, as he lifted me out of my chair and laid me on my bed.
He then did something unexpected – he bent my legs back and tied my ankles to the ropes round my chest. “Just because I know you cannot get off the bed naturally,” he said as he stroked the hair from my head, “doesn’t mean you should be treated any differently.
Do you know, that actually made me feel a little bit better? I nodded as I watched him leave, and hoped the others were as lucky…
I should have been petrified as the woman lifted me onto my bed, and then left the room, but as I wriggled round I felt safe, protected – and yeah, bound and gagged. But it was exciting, and I prayed my mum and gran would understand…
I watched as the two of them walked out, and looked at the clock. My son in law wasn’t due home for another three hours!
And then, I started to plot a story out in my mind – a story of three wheelchair bound women held captive by a gentleman…