“Come on, Carrie – spin the bottle!”
The five older girls watched as the young, brown haired girl put her hand to the empty wine bottle and began to spin it on its side. She watched anxiously as the bottle went round, before slowing down and stopping with the neck pointing to her older sister, Helen.
At twenty, Helen was only two years older than Carrie, but had agreed to keep an eye on her while their parents were away for the weekend. So when she suggested having some of their friends round for a slumber party, Carrie had enthusiastically agreed. Now she sat there, the neckline of her old white t-shirt falling down her neck as she sat cross-legged in her thick blue woollen tights, and waited for her sister to speak.
Carrie rubbed her chin for a moment, the sleeve of her white cotton pyjama top falling down her arm, before saying. “Truth – why did you and Sam split up?”
“Truth? Because his armpits stank more than the levy in a drought, that’s why!”
The other four girls looked at her, and then burst out laughing. “I told the creep he would never get a girl if he didn’t wash,” a small pigtailed girl wearing glasses said.
“Yeah – but your reputation as a geek meant that was never heard, Gail,” Carrie said to more laughter. Gail worked at the library as an assistant, so the fact she was wearing a pair of purple checked pants and a purple top with a large picture of Eyeore on it was not surprise to the party.
Denice was sat next to her – a bubbly, blonde haired girl in a green camisole top and matching shorts. She looked down at her toenails, red from the nail varnish, and said “Who’s next, Helen?”
Helen reached over and span the bottle, watching as it stopped in front of Janey. The dark skinned girl sat back, ran her fingers through her long black hair, and said “Dare, then.”
“Dare? Are you sure?”
Janey looked back at Gail, the light from the lamp reflecting off her white silk pyjamas, and said “I’m sure – go for it.” The dark haired girl picked up a lemon, and handed it to her. “Get this in your mouth, and keep it there for one minute.”
Janey took the sour fruit, opened her mouth wide and popped it in, the yellow visible between her pearly white teeth as the others clapped and cheered. Taking it out, she said “Don’t you dare put that in a drink,” before spinning the bottle again.
This time it stopped at the last girl in the group, a small red haired girl called Bobbi in warm red cotton pyjamas with white polka dots. She looked at the others before saying “Truth?” Janey looked back at her before saying “Has anyone ever tied you up?”
“Yes,” was the reply, given without hesitation.
“WHAT,” Denice said as she looked at her friend. “When – as part of a robbery?”
“Nah – Steve sometimes likes to play games with me, so he uses a scarf to tie my wrists together to the headboard, and then...”
“All right, all right, I get the picture,” Gail said as she stood up. “I need to go somewhere – are you going to put the movie on now?”
“Sure thing, Gail,” Carrie said as she stood up, “Don’t take too long.”
“Can’t guarantee that – I’m not sure that Pepperoni pizza was 100% kosher.” Helen looked at her, then burst out laughing as she walked out of the room, her pigtails swinging as she did so.
The corridor was dark and cold – Helen’s house had been built in the 1920’s and had room to spare all round – but that was not a deterrent to Gail as she took the stairs two at a time, walking into the bathroom and turning the light on before she closed the door. From downstairs she could hear the sound of the film starting, so she finished her business, washed and cleaned herself up, and walked out of the bathroom.
There was no warning, no chance to respond as a set of arms reached out of the darkness and pulled Gail to the side, pushing her up against the wall and forcing her to stand still. She thought she could see some sort of human shape in front of her, but it was unclear, fuzzy. The only thing that was clear to her was the tape that was stuck over her mouth, sealing her lips shut as more strips were quickly put into place.
Gail was pulled through a nearby doorway, into one of the girls’ bedrooms, and as she stood there she heard a horrible ripping sound. In the gloom, she could see the flash of silver as something started to hold her arms tightly into her side, winding up from her waist towards her neck, the bands becoming more and more visible even as the amount of movement her arms could make became less and less.
She was pushed onto what she hoped was the bed, and the ripping sound started again. This time she felt somebody lifting her legs as the tape stuck to her checked bottoms, the upper layer pulling on the skin of her bare forearms even as her legs were systematically enclose din the dim silver tape.
Gail tried to call out, but the tape that covered her lower face was muffling everything she might want to say, the thick material combining with the inability to move her lips and her sheer terror at what was happening. Eventually the ripping stopped, and she lay there, mummified from head to toe as her glasses were removed from her head, and wondering what the answer was to one very simple question.
What the fuck was going on?
“Where the hell do you think Gail has gone to?”
“Probably something to do with that pizza,” Denice said as she stood up. “I need to go to the toilet anyway – I don’t suppose you have a downstairs loo, do you Helen?”
“’fraid not – tell her to get a move on if she is still in there?”
“All right,” the blonde said as she left the room and started to climb the staircase. As she approached the bathroom door, she saw the door lying open and the light on. “You up here somewhere, Gail,” she called out, but there was no response. Shrugging her shoulders, she walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind herself.
After a few moments, she pressed down on the flush lever and looked at herself in the bathroom mirror. “Not bad,” she said to herself as she started to run some water, “Not bad at all.” Looking down into the sink, she rubbed some soap into her hands and rinsed them off, before lowering her head down and splashing her face with some water.
As she looked up, she noticed that the bathroom door, which she could have sworn she had closed, was now open. “Strange,” she said as she reached over for a towel, and started to dry her face and hands. Lowering the towel, she now saw something else standing behind her – something black and vaguely humanoid.
“What the hell,” was all she had a chance to say before a black gloved hand was clamped over her mouth and she felt herself in a vicelike grip. “Whtsgngn,” she mumbled until she heard a harsh, ripping sound, and looking down she saw that someone was taping her ankles tightly together, the duct tape pulling at her skin as they did so.
“NBLDW” she screamed, but whoever had her in their grip was strong, far stronger than she was. As she looked down again, she saw the tape been wound around her legs below her knees, welding them together almost as one, before another band started to appear around her thighs.
“Plsstpts,” she said as she felt the tears starting to run down her cheek, but the ripping and the taping continued. As she looked in the mirror, she saw the black figure holding her, standing three inches taller than herself and with no eye openings in the hood covering their head.
A third hand appeared in front of her, holding a large pad of cotton wool. The hand over her mouth was taken away, and before she could say “HEL...” the pad was pressed over her nose and mouth, the sweet smelling fumes penetrating her before she had a chance to hold her breath. Denice struggled, but as she did so her eyelids slowly started to flutter, and eventually she fell into a deep sleep.
Removing the pad, the second person helped the other intruder to lift Denice into the bath tub, and then held her wrists together in front of her as the tape was wrapped round them. They were then held up against the rod that held the shower in place, as the tape was passed round both her wrist and the rod, welding them in place as she started to gently snore.
More ripping, and three wide strips of tape were smoothed over her closed mouth, the snoring becoming harsher as she started instinctively to breath through her nose. The black shapes left the bathroom, turning the light off and closing the door as they melded back into the darkness.
“Where on earth have those two gone?”
“Probably having a girly chat upstairs,” Helen said as she sat back in her seat, putting her hand into the large bowl before a disappointed look came over her face.
“Damn – out of popcorn. I’ll go and get some more.”
“No – let me,” Bobbi said as she stood up, “I want to get a drink from the fridge anyway.” Taking the bowl, she walked out of the room, leaving the other three to watch Robert Pattison as she made her way into the large kitchen.
Putting the bowl on the table, she walked over to the popcorn maker and switched it on, watching the metal wire spin before she place a couple of handfuls of kernels inside. As they started to pop, she walked over to the large refrigerator, reaching for the handle just as the lights went off.
“Denice, is that you,” Bobbi said as she looked over to the doorway, but there was no reply. Shrugging, she opened the door and looked into the fridge, the bright internal light making her red hair shine as she picked up a can of coke.
“Right,” she said as she closed the door, only to feel herself been pulled back from behind and forced into what she assumed was a chair from the kitchen table. “Steve, if this is one of your games,” she called out as she felt her arms been pulled behind her, but the ripping sound that she heard made her pause as the can was taken from her hands.
“Oh, shit,” was all she said as she felt something sticking to her arm, as her wrists were secured together behind the back of the chair. The popcorn was popping loudly, as she tried to look over her shoulder, only to see somebody pass their arms over her head as a band of thick black tape was pressed down against her waist.
“Who the hell are you,” she called out, only to feel her body been pulled back against the wooden back of the chair, the ripping sound continuing as the tape was wound around her body, securing her waist and lap to the wooden seat.
“What have you done to the others, you bastrdsadsasfsff,” she called out as a napkin was pushed into her open mouth, silencing her as strips of tape were pressed down to keep it in place. As he eyes adjusted to the dim light, she could see the wide bands of black against her red and white pyjamas, as the mysterious intruder taped her ankles to the front legs of the chair.
“FRRSCCKSKKKKHRUUUU” Bobbi screamed out, realising there were two people taping her up, and completely in the dark, figuratively as well as realistically. The darkness in the room was enveloping, making it difficult for her to see anything. The only thing she heard was the popcorn machine been switched off, the popping sound subsiding as the heating plate cooled.
Bobbi screamed out again as she felt herself been pulled along the floor, no idea as to where she was been taken, who had tied her up, and as she screamed one more time even why...
Carrie looked at her watch as the film came to an end. “What do you think happened to the other three,” she said as she looked over at her sister.
Helen looked over to Carrie. “I have no idea,” she said as she got to her feet, “but I’m going to find out. Janey, you check upstairs and I’ll look in the kitchen. You’ll be all right here on your own, won’t you sis?”
“I’m a big girl, Helen,” she said as she watched the tow girls leave the room. Getting onto her knees, she shuffled over to the DVD player and pressed the eject button, watching the drawer slide out and removing the silver disc before placing it back in the box.
As she pushed the drawer back in, she stretched her arms up, yawning and wondering what else was going to happen hat night. Her question was answered as she was grabbed from behind and dragged along the floor, looking over her shoulder as she moved to see who was doing this.
“Gail? Denice? Are you girls in there?”
Janey knocked on the bathroom door, but there was no reply. ON the other side of the door, Denice was slowly stirring, completely unaware of her position at the time.
“Oh well,” Janey said as she walked down the corridor, looking in a couple of the rooms. As she opened one particular bedroom door, however, she saw a person in purple and silver lying on the bed.
“Gail?” she said as she turned the light on, only to put her hand to her mouth as she saw her friend turn and look at her from the bed, her eyes red over the silver band that covered her mouth.
“Holy... What the hell happened to you?” she said as she ran into the room, pushing the door closed behind her as she did so. Gail stared wide eyed at her, shaking her head frantically and making loud muffled noises as Janey leaned over her. “Who the fuck did this?” she said as she looked at her friend, and then realised she was looking over her shoulder at someone.
“Very quietly,” a voice in a strange tinny tone said, “Put your hands behind your back, stand still and shut up. I have a gun here, and I will use it.”
“IS this a robbery,” Janey said quietly as she moved her hands behind her back, hearing the ripping sound before she felt the tape sticking to her wrists, holding them together as the binding was wrapped tightly round.
“I told you to shut up,” the voice continued as her captor forced Janey to her knees, Gail watching as tear started to run down her cheeks again. “I swear I’ll get you for this, you bastard,” Janey shouted as the silver tape was wound round her arms, above and below her chest, forcing the material to stretch across her breasts and the top button to come undone as her arms were fixed to her side.
“Promises, promises,” was all she heard as she felt her ankles and feet been taped together, the tape sticking the soles of her feet as she looked over her shoulder for the first time. Her assailant was dressed from head to foot in black, the head covered by a complete hood that fitted to the contours of their face.
As she was pulled back by her shoulders, Janey was forced to sit on her bottom, as she heard again the sound of the ripping tape. A pair of gloved hands reached round and forced her legs up so that her chin was touching her knees, before the tape was stuck to her back and taken round, pressed down over her legs and passed back around her back. This happened several times, each time her legs aching more as they were effectively welded against her chest.
“This fucking hurts, you bastard,” Janey screamed out, only to feel a cold metal circle pressed against her head. “Shut up,” the voice said as she saw a small bathroom sponge compressed in the gloved hand. “No, you can’t do that, pleasssagfdgasfgsadf” she said as the sponge was pushed into her mouth, and several layers of tape used to seal it into place.
“Have fun,” the voice said as Janey was rolled over onto her side, her screams and those of Gail’s muffled as the light was turned off and the intruder left the room.
“Where the hell has everyone gone,” Helen said as she turned off the kitchen light. The popcorn that had been in the machine was cold, and there was a warming can of coke on the kitchen table, but no sign of Bobbi – or indeed any of the other girls.
“if this is part of a game, I’m not finding it very funny,” she called out as she walked back to the front room, but when she walked in a cold, metallic voice said “It’s no game, Helen,” making her stop as she took in the sight before her.
Carrie was sat in an armchair, her arms pinioned behind her back but what Helen knew to be black tape. She knew this because of the bands that encircled her upper body and waist, pinning her younger sister’s arm to her side, as well as those around her thighs, calves and ankles. More importantly, a large pad was affixed over her mouth, covering it as her eyes stared back at her older sister.
Beside her, the barrel of a gun in their hand pressed to Carrie’s head, was a person dressed in black, with a hood pulled over their face. There were no eye holes, no gap to show the smile on their face – just a mass of black opaque material.
“What the hell are you doing,” Helen said, before she felt a cold circle of metal pressed against her back and realised she was not alone.
“All in good time,” the voice said as she felt her arms been pulled behind her own back, and heard the sickening sound of tape been ripped from a roll. “Let’s make you more – uncomfortable first.”
“What the hell are you doing,” Helen screamed as she felt the tape sticking to her bare skin, but as she heard Carrie call out “Hlnfrgdsdsk” and saw the look in her sister’s eyes, she stood still and allowed the assailant to tape her wrists together, and then wind the tape around her waist to hold them in place, the sliver band sticking to her old t-shirt which offered a little protection. More bands went around her upper body, fixing her arms into place as the white material stretched over her breasts.
“Face down,” the intruder said as Helen was pushed towards the couch. “What have you done to the others?” she said as she was pushed onto the cushions, moving so that her head was lying on the arm and looking at her younger sister. “I don’t want you to hurt them.”
“They’re fine, just a little – incapacitated at the moment,” the voice said as Helen felt the tape sticking to her ankles, forcing them together as they rested on the couch. “We want a little information from you Helen – and they are our insurance that you will give us what we want.”
“PLSDNTDTTTT!” Carrie screamed as her head was pulled back and the pistol in the other intruder’s gloved hand pressed against her throat. “All right, all right,” Helen called out as she felt her legs been pulled back so that her heels touched her bottom, “I’ll give you what you want, just don’t hurt them.”
“Very sensible,” the persons aid as Helen grimaced, the position in which her legs were been taped together not one she found very comfortable. The tape went around her legs, just above and below her knees, holding them in a prone position, and then again just above her ankles and around her thighs. When she was released, she looked over her shoulder to see her leg bent back and taped so that she could not move.
“Now, Helen,” the intruder said as they walked over and knelt next to her, “the alarm codes and safe combination for your offices, if you would be so kind?”
In the bathroom, Denice was looking up at her wrists above her head, wondering how best to get herself free. The tape was silencing her, but she could hear the low moans in the background from one of the other rooms.
The tap for the shower was just within reach of her chin, but she had no way of controlling the temperature of the water if she got the flow going. On the other hand, if she could wet the tape around her wrists, or even her mouth, there was a chance of getting free and raising the alarm.
Denice closed her eyes, and wriggled round so that her chin was resting on the tap lever. Taking several deep breaths through her nose, she pressed down, thanking her luck as a warm jet of water started to fall over her.
The water soaked into her nightclothes, the dark ring of her nipples becoming more and more visible through the silk, but that was not her worry. As she sat there, feeling the water start to run down her arms and onto the tape, she tried to smile underneath her gag. Time – that was all she needed and all she had...
Helen looked at the two masked intruders as they forced Carrie to lie across the chair, her face looking over at her older sister. The tape pulled tightly over her mouth made any understandable conversation next to impossible, but Carrie knew what she was saying.
“Don’t move for half an hour,” the tinny voice said, “and just to be sure, we’ve taken one of your friends as a hostage. Even if you get free, if you call the police before we call you she will not survive the trip.”
They looked at the two taped women before closing the door on them. Carrie twisted herself round into a seated position, before sliding off and starting to slide on her bottom across the floor towards her older sister.
“Tsllrt, hln, tslrgt” she kept saying as she saw her sister starting to cry, unable to move and as helpless as she had ever felt.
The door to the room opened, and Carrie looked up to see a very wet Denice standing there, tape hanging from her wrist and mouth.
“Holy shit,” she said as she ran over to the two girls, “Did they get all of us?”
“It looks like that,” Helen said as the tape was pulled away from her mouth. “Have you found the others?”
“Jayne and Gail are upstairs – I need to get some scissors for them.”
“Bobbi? I don’t know – look, I’m going to call the police.”
“Don’t – they must have taken her. They’re heading for the firm to rob it, and we can’t do a thing or they will kill her.”
Denice looked at the two girls, nodding slowly. “I can cut you free, however – let me get those scissors.”
“I’ll tell you later,” she said as she ran out of the room.
The grey van rolled towards the warehouse, as Bobbi sat in the back, still taped to the chair as she lay on her side. There were no windows to allow her to see where she had been taken, but she felt every bump and knock as the van travelled along.
As the vehicle stopped, the rear door opened and one of the masked intruders stepped in. Removing the hood that covered their head, she looked at Bobbi lying on the rough blanket.
“Sorry about that, Sis,” the red headed woman said as she removed the tape gag, “but you did say to make sure they didn’t suspect you.”
“Never mind that,” Bobbi said with a smile on her face, “Did you get them?”
“Sure did - let me cut you loose, and then all three of us can take what we want. Steve just needs to get the tool bag...”