The St. Monica's Ladies Day Out
“Now, you’re not going to give us any trouble, are you?”
Mary Timmins shook her head as the masked and armed man stood over her, waving his gun in a manner intended to convey menace in her face. She was sat in an old, small wooden chair, and as she glanced over her shoulder she could see another of the gang finishing the task of securing her lower arms to her back with white rope that was passed around her waist, covering the red silk sash she was wearing over the black short sleeved dress with white polkas dots.
Her wrist had already been secured with rope, as had her arms to her sides, the ropes covering her chest above and below her breasts and passed between her body and arms to further tighten them. She turned and looked back at the man standing in front of her.
“What have you done with the rest of my party – and where’s Lady Holbrook?”
“Enough out of you,” the man said as his partner behind her wadded up a handkerchief, “We’re in charge, and you’re meant to be frightened.”
“Been there, done that, and got the t-shrmmmtrtme” Mary mumbled as the cloth was pushed into her mouth and a white scarf pulled between her red lips. As she felt it pull back at the corners of her mouth, her mind went back to an hour earlier, and what had started out as a nice pleasant trip....
“Pity Augusta could not make it today – I would have thought a visit to Holbrook Hall would have been right up her alley.”
“She had to go to a regimental dinner,” Angela Timmins said in reply to her daughter as the minibus made its way up the elm lined drive to Holbrook Hall. The ladies of the St Monica’s Ladies Circle had been invited to meet with Lady Holbrook and her daughter, the Honourable Alicia, to discuss ideas for a charity fete in the town in the next few months.
The five ladies were dressed for the occasion, with even Mary forgoing her usual jeans and t-shirt for a more formal attire. She looked at her mother, who was wearing a cowl necked cotton dress with a zig zag pattern of differing colours and high heeled black patent leather shoes over her dark stockings, and smiled. Ever since the events of a few years ago, when they had been held hostage in their own home by a pair of very charming burglars, the six of them had grown much closer, and much more relaxed in the way they dressed at times. She would have never seen her mother in a sleeveless dress before that day, and now here she was.
The minibus came to a halt on the driveway, gravel crunching under the wheels, in front of a large covered doorway. As the ladies stepped out, the door was opened and a tall, thin woman with light brown hair stepped out. She was wearing a black blazer and skirt with a white blouse, and as she walked the top s of a pair of dark stockings could be seen.
“Lady Holbrook,” Angela said as she walked forward, her hand extended, “Thank you for inviting us over today.”
“My pleasure, Mrs Timmins,” Her Ladyship said as she shook Angela’s hand. “If you will all come with me, my daughter is waiting for us in the drawing room.” The party of six walked in, and as the door closed the minibus drove off, passing a large van in the driveway as it turned into the main road.
“My daughter, Alicia,” Lady Holbrook said as they walked into the large room. As Alicia stood up, Mary could see she was her mother’s younger image, wearing in her case a pastel blue skirt and matching jacket over a black camisole top, with white stiletto heels.
“A pleasure to meet you, ladies,” she said with a smile as all six sat down on the couches. “Shall I pour?”
The grey van pulled up outside, and as the rear doors opened a group of ten men got out. As they looked round, one stayed with the van as the others made their way to the front door, pulling stockings down over their faces as they did so.
“So, we are in agreement? In that case...! Who the hell are you?”
Lady Holbrook looked at the door as the group of armed and masked men burst in. “Nobody move,” one of them shouted, “just put your hands on your heads and sit perfectly still.”
“Oh god, not again,” Paula said as she raised her hands, the arms of her black jacket slipping down as she did so. “Ladies, do not panic,” Angela said as she too raised her hands, “Remember we got through last time together.”
“I don’t know what happened last time, lady,” the masked man said, “but this is now.” He looked at Angela closely. “You,” he said to one of the men, “Take her up to one of the bedrooms and secure her.” As Angela was dragged off, he looked at Suzie, sitting there in a black and white low-cut dress. “Take her to the store room,” he ordered one of the other men, “and this one goes to the front room.” He pointed at Katie as he said this, who screamed as she was grabbed by the arm and taken off.
“You – go with him,” he finally said to Paula, and as she was dragged off he looked at Mary. “Make sure she stays here,” he said to two of the men, as her and the others frog marched Lady Holbrook and her daughter out of the room. Mary looked at the two men left, her hands raised as she quietly said “now what?”
Now she watched as the masked man finished tying her legs together, her ankles already crossed and bound as the rope went around and between her legs below her knees. There was a damp stain spreading in the centre of the cloth filling her mouth, but at that point Mary was silently praying – both for her own release and for the others.
The store room door swung shut as Suzie was pushed in, the armed man taking a rucksack off his back as he shut the door. “Stand still and put your hands behind your back,” he said as he opened the bag with one hand and drew out a length of brown rope.
“All right, just do what you have to do,” Suzie said as she looked over her shoulder, watching the man as he wrapped the rope around her bare wrists. The sleeves of her dress only came half down her forearms, so they offered little protection as the rope was wound up from her wrists almost to the cuffs of the sleeves, and then pulled tight as it went between her wrists.
“That hurts,” she called out as he took out another, longer length of rope, and forced her arms into her side by passing it around her chest below her breasts. The rope was tight, forcing them out as it went above and below her chest.
“You girls some sort of focus group,” he said as he passed the rope between the loops behind her back, forcing them together as her arms were held firmly in place.
“A church group – why?”
“Then I wonder if you’re going to enjoy this,” he said as he passed the rope over her shoulder, through the band of loop below her breasts in the centre of her front, and then back over , pulling the lower band up. “Ouch,” was all Suzie said as the rope then went under her armpits, forcing the bands together on each side before her tied it off. Her breasts were forced out and up by this, the pain making her groan as she was forced to sit down.
“Don’t move a muscle,” he said a she began to tie her ankles together, the rope biting into her ankles as her stockings offered little protection. As he tied the knot off, Suzie said “please tell me what’s going on – why are you here?”
“Business with her ladyship” was all he said as he tightly bound her legs above and below her knees, the heels of her shoes clicking on the floor as her skirt slipped down her legs. As he stood up, she tried to move, with little success as she said “now what?”
“Now,” he said as he picked a small sponge ball out of his bag, “You open wide and say Ah.”
“Ahhhhmmpmpmpmp” Suzie mumbled as the ball was pushed between her teeth. The sound of ripping came to her as she looked up and saw him tearing a strip of duct tape off a roll, walking towards her and saying “Pucker those beautiful lips, doll – time to cover them up.”
As the tape was pressed into place, Suzie wondered what had happened to the others – and hoped something worse was not taking place than been bound and gagged.
“I thought I told you not to struggle!”
“What the hell gives you the right to tell me not to struggle – I’m the one tied up here!”
Katie glared at the masked man as he sat on the seat opposite, watching her squirming round as she knelt on the floor. Her arms were pinioned behind her back, with rope around her crossed wrists and her elbows. Rope had been wrapped round her chest and arms as well, with the rope going around her neck and under the collar of her black jacket before it was passed under the coils that held her breasts up. The front of her purple blouse was stretched tightly over her breasts, the buttons showing the strain as she twisted round.
“If you struggle, you’ll do yourself an injury,” the man said as he stood up and knelt beside her, checking the tightness of the ropes around her ankles and legs. Her short skirt had ridden up, exposing the lacy tops of her stockings as she knelt there panting.
“I don’t care,” she almost screamed as she looked at him, “I want to see my friends.”
“Tough,” the man said, “and I see I need to shut you up.” Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a sponge ball and squashed it in his hand. “No,” Katie whispered before clamping her mouth shut.
“That won’t work,” was all he said as he pulled back on her brown hair, making her yell out and allowing him to stuff the ball in. Letting go of her hair, he picked up a roll of black tape and tore off a strip, smoothing it over her mouth before she had a chance to spit it out. More strips followed until Katie’s mouth and jaw looked like a shiny black rectangle.
She twisted herself round, desperately trying to free herself, and in the process failed to notice the buttons popping on her blouse, the open front moving to her side as she twisted and revealing her black bra. The masked intruder knelt next to her, moving her blouse even further to the side, before saying quietly “If you keep struggling, you’ll start to choke and make yourself sick. That gag is not coming off – imagine what might happen if you throw up.”
Katie stopped short, looking up at him with her eyes wide, and slowly nodded. She settled back down onto her knees, watching him the whole time.
“Whrrthefrs,” she eventually mumbled.
“No idea – we‘re scattering you to stop you helping each other,” he said with a smile. “You look like a nice woman – please just try and relax, and this will all be other soon.”
As with last time, Angela was more concerned with her daughter than with herself. As she lay on the bed, she thought back over the last half hour or so.
“You’re no gentlemen,” she had said when she was pushed into the bedroom.
“I beg your pardon?”
“This is not the first time I’ve been caught up in a robbery, and then they were gentlemen.”
“Two of them?”
Angela nodded, looking between the two men who had “escorted” her up to what looked like a guest bedroom.
“Yeah, we know them – great guys, but this is bigger league then them. Now, lie face down on the bed and put your hands together in the small of your back.”
“Do I have your guarantee you will not hurt my daughter or our friends”
“So long as they do as they are told – and you do as well. Now face down, and hands behind your back.”
It did not take them long to bind her wrists together, the white rope cutting slightly into her bare skin as they did so, but when they wound some rope around her arms above her elbows and pulled them slightly together that had been a complete surprise. She wondered what her husband would have done if he had seen her there, her shoulders pulled back as the rope was wound around the strands between her arms.
“What has Lady Holbrook that you need to go to all this trouble for,” Angela said in a calm, controlled voice. Since the incident two years previously, she had spent some time in counselling training, and knew that the way to get what she needed was to stay in control of herself.
“What else – money, riches, her gold collection. You ladies were just in the way.” As the man spoke, he pulled Angela’s legs back and crossed them at the ankles, wrapping rope around them as he secured them tightly together. She could hear the squeak on her shoes as they rubbed against each other with each pas of the rope.
“I can understand that, but why tie me – and presumably the others – up? There is a large cellar in this house; you could have locked us all in there.”
“Possibly, but one of you would have had a cell phone. Besides, you do not seem to grasp one side of this.”
“Oh,” Angela said as she rolled over onto her side and looked at the young man, his eyes visible through the nylon covering his head, “and what might that be?”
“We like tying women up,” he said with a smile as he rolled her back onto her stomach, pulled her ankles back and wrapped another longer length of rope around her feet. Angela grimaced as she felt her feet been tied, the squeaking of leather much louder, before he took the rope and pulled her ankles up until they were parallel with her knees. Passing the rope around the coil between her elbows, he wound the rope back around itself before securing the end to the coils around her ankles.
“I really am going nowhere, am I,” Angela said as she rolled back over onto her side. “Please, promise me you will see if my daughter is all right.”
He looked at her, before saying “I’m sure she will be, but I will go and look anyway. Now open wide.”
Angela allowed the ball to be pushed into her mouth, the sponge expanding as she closed her lips over it, and offered no resistance as he covered her mouth and lower jaw with black tape. As he went to the door, he looked back at the older woman lying there, watching him as he nodded and left her alone.
Walking down the corridor, he heard Lady Holbrook saying “Please, I’ll do whatever you want, just leave my Alicia alone.” There was a muffled grunt from the room, which he left alone as he walked down the stairs.
Inside the room, Alicia Holbrook looked back at her mother, unable to speak with the thick white cloth pulled tightly between her lips and holding a pair of men’s handkerchiefs inside her mouth. Her mother had been forced to watch as they systematically trussed the young woman up, coils of rope around her wrists and ankles at first, before they had bound her arms together below and above her elbows.
More coils had gone around her chest, upper and lower, as well as her waist, and each set of coils had been cinched between her back and her arms to tighten the binding. As a result, the front of her jacket was stretched over her breasts and to the side, her black top retaining her modesty.
Now she was sat in a chair, looking at the gang leader as he emptied their safe. Another of the gang members was applying a coil of rope around her ankles, the fifth such pass around her legs. There were coils literally at the top of her legs, where her skirt had been pushed back, above and below her knees, around her calves and finally her ankles. All the coils were symmetrically arranged, so they did not cut too much into her skin, but they had also been individually cinched, so she could only move her legs as one unit, almost as if she was a mermaid. Her shoes were still on her feet, squeaking as she moved her legs up and down.
“Mmclmdn” she mumbled through her gag as she saw her mother struggling opposite her. Lady Holbrook was sat on one of two beds in the room – a child’s guest room, and as such one she and her husband had thought the perfect hiding place for their safe. Of course, neither had ever expected an armed horde of men to take over the house, but this is where it was.
Her wrists had been crossed and secured together behind her back, and then rope wrapped around her chest, forcing her breasts up and out as they had been tightened. Although she was in her late fifties, she looked ten years younger, and when her pinstripe jacket was stretched by the constricting ropes it emphasised the fact she had kept very much in trim.
The rope also went around her neck and over her shoulders, finishing behind her in a hideously complex system of knots and underpasses. She had tried probing with her fingers but the way her wrists were held in place she could not even reach the first knot about her wrists, never mind the knot that held the rope around her upper body.
Her ankles had also been crossed and secured, but unlike her daughter only one more coil had been passed around her legs, just above her knees. It was enough, however, as she could only twist round on the bed as she watched her valuables been stuffed into the duffel bag the ropes had been in.
“We’re done here – stop Her Ladyship from raising the alarm,” the man eventually said as he closed the safe door to. “What are you going to do – gag me like my daughter,” she said with a sneer, but her eyes widened as she saw the red ball with a leather strap through the middle the other man held in his hand.
“NPLSDNTDT” Alicia screamed out, but she could not stop them as they pulled her mother’s hair, forcing her head back and her mouth open. The taste of the hard rubber almost made Lady Holbrook gag, but she maintained her composure as the straps were fastened at the base of her neck.
“Round the others up and let’s get out of here,” the leader shouted as he left the room. Watching the door close, Lady Holbrook looked over at Alicia and said “rulrt?”
“Mmmm,” Alicia said as they listened to the sound of boots running down the staircase, and then a heavy van driving on gravel. They both sat still, wondering what to do next, as they heard low moans coming from elsewhere in the house.
Eventually, Alicia watched as he mother slid off the bed and sat on the floor, panting slightly as he skirt rode even further up. “Whtudng,” she mumbled through her gag as she watched her mother carefully get herself onto her knees.
Looking over her shoulder, Alicia could see she wasn’t actually secured to it, so she slid herself forward. As she did so, she found she was unable to stop herself falling onto her knees, but she stopped herself from at least falling on her face.
“Cmhgr,” she heard her mother say, and as she watched she saw her mother slowly start o shuffle towards her. Carefully, tentatively, she started to move herself forward as well.
In the drawing room, Mary had seen the van drive off, and knew that wherever the others were they had been left alone now. She sat for a few moments, waiting to see if there were anyone else around, but eventually she forced herself onto her feet and started to hop towards the door to the main entrance hall.
After the encounter with those two gentlemen before, she had practiced ways of moving if she had been left tied up again, without her parents knowing. That had been the worst thing last time, the fact that she had been left helpless and unable to raise the alarm. This time was going to be different, as with little bunny hops she made her way towards the door.
Reaching the wall, she looked over her shoulder and watched as she managed somehow to push the door handle down, allowing the door to swing inwards. Shuffling out into the corridor, she listened to hear of she could see anyone. There were muffled calls and groans from upstairs, but she knew there was no way she could climb stairs easily, bound the way she was.
She could, however, hear someone in the room on the other side of the hall. She had heard them saying to take Suzie to a front room, so it might be her. Gathering her courage, she hopped across the hallway, and pushed to door open.
“MRE?” She heard a voice say, but as she moved into the room she saw it was Paula, sat on a small chair. Her breasts were almost escaping from her striped blouse because of the way the rope shad forced them up and out, wrapped tightly as they were round them, her arms and her whole body.
There was also rope around her waist, holding her arms into the small of her back where they disappeared behind her, and her legs were secured above and below her knees as well as around her ankles. A knotted white cloth had been pulled between her lips, while her blonde hair had fallen around her face as a result of her struggles. Somehow, her jacket and skirt had stayed intact – a miracle of tailoring more than anything.
“Pl – hgd,” Mary said as she hopped over. Reaching the chair Paula was sitting in, she allowed herself to drop onto her knees and move so that her mouth was within reach of the gag between her own lips.
“Duthnk ucnrmv tgg,” she mumbled as she looked up at Paula. The older woman nodded and reached with her fingers, Mary moving closer as Paula started to attempt to feed her fingers under the tight band of cloth.
The evening light was dimming in the window when Paula finally managed to get the cloth out of Mary’s mouth, allowing her in turn to spit out the soaked handkerchief out.
“Are you all right,” she eventually said as Paula nodded. “Turn round, let me have a look at your ropes,” she said, but as Paula shuffled round the sound of sirens could be heard in the distance. “Oh thank the lord,” Mary said as the flashing blue lights appeared, allowing her own tears to flow.
“Lady Holbrook and Alicia had somehow managed to free themselves and call the police. They released all of us, and after we were checked over we were allowed to go home.
“My goodness,” Augusta Smyth-Wright said as she laid her teacup down and looked at Angela. “I must say, you seem to be coping remarkably well.”
“The Lord provides,” Angela said as she sipped her tea. “By the way we may need your help with something for the fete – or rather the Colonel’s help.”
“Anything, my dear woman, anything – what is the theme?”
“You’ll like it,” Angela said with a weak smile. “It’s a Renaissance Fair....”