Guest of Honour
Emma placed the cake stand gently in the centre of the table, and started to arrange the various different cakes on the stacked plates. As she did so, she glanced nervously over to the clock, which was showing the time as ten in the morning.
“They’re going to start arriving soon,” she whispered to herself as she placed the last of the scone son the plate, and picked up the tray. She rubbed her forehead with the back of her hand, before saying “Right - time to put the coffee out.” A blue Alice band was holding her long blonde hair back - a fact she was grateful for as she remembered she still had some flour on her hands.
Emma was in her mid thirties, and kept herself trim and fit, so that the white cotton minidress she was wearing hugged and emphasised her figure. She tucked her tea towel into the waistband of her apron and smiled as she heard the door bell ring. “That will be Sharon,” she said to herself as she walked quickly to the door, opening it to find not her sister, but two young men, dressed in dark suits and white shirts with neatly knotted ties around their necks, standing there and looking at her.
“Good morning,” one of them said as she looked at them, “Do you have a few moments to spare to discuss where you are going to go when you die?”
“Not right now,” Emma said as she tried to close the door, only for the other man to stick his foot in and say “I really think you should spare us the time Emma.”
“How do you...” Her question was cut off by the sudden appearance of a pistol in the man’s hand, as the other one picked up a small holdall and they both walked in, closing the door behind themselves.
“Please,” the second man said “Face the wall, hands on your head, and say nothing.
“Who... Who are you?”
“You may call me Abraham, and my friend is Isaac. Do not scream, stay calm, and do exactly what we tell you to do. Understand?”
“No, I don’t - what do you want?”
“You will find out when Suzanne gets here,” the man said as his friend opened the holdall and took out a long length of white rope. “Now, hands behind your back, and keep quiet...”
Sharon turned into the path to the front door, smiling as she pressed the door bell. She had the same thin body as her younger sister, but her hair was dark and fell over her shoulders of her white jersey dress, the low cut front just showing the tops of her breasts. The dress came halfway down to her knees, a pair of black leggings covering them as well as the knee length brown leather boots she was wearing.
The door was slightly open, so Sharon pushed it open and called out “Emma? Is the coffee ready?”
She could not hear a reply, but at that moment her attention was taken by the large hand that was clamped over her mouth and the arm that grabbed her around her waist. “Not a word,” a male voice whispered into the ear as she was forced to walk into the front room, her eyes widening as she saw Emma sitting there.
Her sister had her arms pulled behind her back, and bands of rope encircled her upper body at her waist and arms. A white tea towel was pulled between her teeth, while her ankles and knees were firmly secured with more bands of rope.
“Ah, I see the sister has arrived Abraham,” the smartly dressed man standing next to Emma said. “Why don’t you sit down, Sharon, and put your hands behind your back - I am afraid we have to make sure you cannot spoil the surprise for the others.”
“Wha.... What’s going on, Emma,” Sharon said as she looked at her sister, while her own arms were pulled behind her back. she could feel rope passing around her wrists as she saw Emma’s red eyes, the tears running again as she mumbled “dentin” and shook her head in anger.
“We just need to wait for the guest of honour to come,” Abraham said as he tied off the rope around Sharon’s wrists, and then wrapped a coil of rope around her arms and chest, pulling them tightly into her side, “and then once Suzanne arrives, all will become clear.”
“Suzanne? What has she to do with this?”
Emma was thinking the same thing, as she watched the two men tying up her sister, the rope squeaking around her boots as Isaac knelt at her feet. Who were the men? Why were they doing this to them? And why did they keep calling Suzanne the ‘Guest of Honour?’ She wanted answers, but all she had was the taste of the cotton in her mouth, and the fear in her heart as Abraham pulled a long white wool scarf between Sharon’s lips, filling her mouth as he passed it twice round and then tied it off at the side of her head.
“Pls,shthpnng,” she pleaded as the two men stood side by side and looked at their captives.
“How many more are we expecting?”
“Two more - and of course Suzanne.”
“How could we forget her - she’s the reason we’re here, after all.”
The sound of the garden gate opening and closing came to their ears, as they took up position either side of the door to the room. Emma and Sharon looked at each other as the door opened, and they heard a voice call out “Something smells nice - are you in the front room?”
The door to the room came inwards as an older woman came in, dropping her handbag to the floor as she saw the two bound and gagged woman. She was in her late forties, with greying hair held up to her head by a black hairpin, and was wearing a white blouse which was open just enough to show her neck, a knee length black leather skirt and black knee length leather boots.
“Emma? Sharon? What happened? Why are you shaking your heads - oh.”
“Good morning, Fiona,” Isaac said as he took her by the arm. “Please, keep quiet, and do as we say, I promise you it will not be for too long.”
“I don’t understand - why are you treating my friends in this way?”
“Actually, we are going to do the same to you,” Abraham said as Fiona was helped to sit next to Emma, “but as to why, that must wait for the arrival of the Guest of Honour.”
“Guest of Honour? What are they talking about?”
“Sznne,” Emma mumbled as Fiona felt her wrists being bound together behind her back, “ntshllekn.”
“Suzanna - OUCH!” Fiona called out as Isaac pulled the ropes tight. “That hurt!”
“time for you to be quiet,” Abraham said as he untied the large scarf that Fiona had worn over her shoulders, folded it into a thick band and then before she had a chance to protest pulled it into her mouth, wrapping the folded silk around her head so that it looked like a brown and black mottled roll was around her head.
She looked down, muted as Isaac crossed her ankles and bound them tightly together, and then her legs below her knees. She tried to twist them out of the way, but to no avail, and soon all three of them were staring mutely at each other.
“How long until she gets here?” Abraham said as he pushed his sleeve back to look at his watch.
“Not long - we just need...” Isaac fell silent as he heard the sound of heels clicking on the stone outside the front door as another new arrival walked in.
“Sorry I’m late,” a voice said, and a small woman, not more than five foot two tall, walked in, and then put her hand to her mouth as she saw the trio sitting there. Isaac walked behind her, guiding her hands away from her mouth and behind her back as he said “Keep calm, Olivia - all will be explained when Suzanne arrives.”
“Suzanne,” Olivia mumbled as he stood there, her chest heaving under the black jumper she was wearing, her matching skirt blowing slightly in the breeze from the front door. Both garments had a blue and white striped hem, while she had on a pair of black ankle boots.
“Indeed - the guest of honour,” Abraham said as within five minutes her upper body was as well secured as that of the other three, and she was walked over to sit next to Sharon. As he legs were bound at the ankles and knees, she looked round and said “Will someone please tell me what is going on?”
“Wddntknn” Fiona said as the four of them started to twist round, the sound of rope rubbing against leather filling the room as Olivia was muffled by using a second tea towel to gag her.
“Well now,” Isaac said, “Perhaps we should get the coffee ready. Will you do the honours Abraham?”
“Of course,” the other man said as he left the room, returning a few minutes later with the silver coffee pot which he set in the centre of the table. “Now I think we’re ready for...”
“Who the hell are you, and what the hell have you done to my aunt!”
The two men turned as Emma called out “BGLL!! RNNNNNN!!!” There was a similarity to both Emma and Sharon, but she was younger, with short red hair and wearing a white t-shirt and jeans with the legs tucked into a pair of black Ugg boots.
“Oh dear,” Isaac said as he walked forward and took her by the arm, “and who might you be my dear?”
“I’m Abigail - those are my aunts, and why the hell have you tied them up?”
“That is a very good question, Abigail, and I deeply regret that you decided to call at this moment in time, as it means we must keep you out of the way. Abraham, would you please take Abigail up to a bedroom and make her comfortable?”
“What do you mean - don’t touch me!”
“Please,” Abraham said as he took Abigail by the arm, “Come with me and I will explain everything.” Emma watched as he led Abigail out and took her up the staircase, while the four women looked at each other and all began to wonder the same thing.
What the hell was going on?
“I’m truly sorry this has to be the case,” Abraham said as he wrapped the thin belt around Abigail’s waist, forcing her wrists behind her back as he did so. They were in Emma’s bedroom, and he had secured her wrists together with a pair of her aunt’s tights before using the belt to anchor them to her body.
“I don’t understand,” Abigail said as her captor turned her round and made her sit on the bed, kneeling to take off her boots before wrapping a long blue silk oblong around her white sock covered ankles and pulling them together. “Is this a robbery or something else?”
“Something else,” Abraham said as he used a second long silk oblong, this one red, to hold her legs together below her knees, and then helped Abigail to lie on her side on the bed. “When Suzanne gets here, she will explain it all to you, but for now you need to be quiet.”
He held up two black bandanas, one folded into a square and the other into a band, and said “open wide - and you will find out soon enough.”
Suzanne walked down the street, her green scarf blowing slightly in the breeze as it shifted around her neck, and she was a very happy person. Her aerobics class had gone very well indeed, and as the soft green silk skirt flowed around her legs she was feeling very very proud.
The skirt covered her legs and the bottom half of her leotard, and the matching green shoes protected her feet as she turned and entered Emma’s house. Closing the door behind her, she took a deep breath and said “Hello everyone - are we too late for... Who are you?”
In the front room, the four women watched as Isaac stepped outside, and then made Suzanne walk up the staircase, Abraham watching them the whole time. At the top of the stairs, Isaac opened the door and showed Suzanne Abigail, who was lying on her side on the bed, staring at them with her cheeks filled by the scarf held in her mouth.
Suzanne nodded and went in, Isaac closing the door behind them...
“SSNNNEEEE” The four women screamed at her as she walked back in, her hands behind her back as she was made to sit down in the chair that sat between both pairs of captives.
“Hello girls,” she said with a smile, as she brought her hands round and clasped them in her lap, “I’m so glad you could all make it this morning. Isaac, darling, could I possibly have some coffee?”
“Of course, mistress,” Isaac said as he poured some coffee into a cup and handed it to her, the four staring at her as she gently sipped her drink.
“I’m sorry I was delayed, but I needed to talk to your niece,” she said as she nodded at Emma and Sharon. “I am afraid she is the entirely innocent party in all this, and I needed to calm her down and explain what was happening.”
Emma looked at Sharon, then the other two, as she mumbled “Whtthllsgngn?”
“I’ll tell you, Emma,” Suzanne said as she put her cup down. “I discovered that my husband has been unfaithful with an old dear friend of mine - one of you four in fact. So I arranged for my menservants to come early and make sure none of you escaped, while we had a nice, cosy woman to woman chat.”
The four women looked at each other, eyes wide over their gags as Suzanne leaned forward, picked up a cake and said “So - which of you bitches wishes to confess? Because nobody is going anywhere until I know...”