The St Monica’s Ladies Circle Selfie Contest
“A Selfie calendar,” Mary’s husband said as they sat at the breakfast table, “whose wonderful idea was that for this year’s calendar?”
“Not important,” Mary said as she sipped her tea, “but I and four of the Ladies Circle have agreed to take part, and we’re all going to take the photos this morning and submit them for consideration.”
“Well, I imagine as the Vicar of St Monica’s, I will have to judge appropriately,” he said as he finished his tea and stood up. “I have the diocese meeting this morning – see you tonight.”
“Have a good day,” Mary said as she watched him put his jacket on and head out, smiling before she stood and started to gather the plates. She thought it was a wonderful idea – and as she took the dirty dishes to the kitchen, she knew exactly how she was going to do it.
Filling the machine and then turning it on, Mary went up the stairs and looked at herself in the mirror on the wardrobe door. She was wearing a grey coat dress, zipped up the front and with a wide belt around her waist, and a cream cardigan over that, the sleeves pulled up to the elbows. Looking down at her long brown boots, the tops over her knees, she smiled and said “A typical vicar’s wife” as she went to the toilet. She didn’t hear the front door open and close…
When she returned, she had her mobile phone in her hand, looking again in the mirror as she adjusted her long brown hair. “Well, here goes nothing,” she finally said to herself as she smiled, held up the phone, and took a picture of herself in the long mirror.
It was only as she looked at the screen that she realised she was not alone, as she was grabbed round her waist, and before she could make a sound a length of brown sticking plaster was pressed firmly over her mouth. “Don’t struggle, remain calm,” she heard a young man say behind her, “if you don’t, you will hurt yourself, and I don’t want that to happen.”
“I believe the press refer to me as the Selfie Snatcher – I presume you have read the reports?”
Mary’s eyes opened wide, and she slowly nodded as she looked at the man, the hood over his head.
“Good – now, I want you to put your hands behind your back, and stand perfectly still.”
Mary slowly nodded as he removed his arm from her waist, and then took the phone from her hand, guiding her wrists behind her back as she heard a rasping sound, and they were forced together. She could feel the thin plastic strip with her fingers, as she watched him kneel down and put her feet together, then use a second zip tie to secure her ankles together, so that she could not move.
As he stood up and walked in front of her, he smiled and said “now, I hope you’re ready for a little trip and a surprise.”
“WhttdhumhhnnNNNNNNNN,” Mary gasped as he lifted her over his shoulder, unable to do more than wriggle as he carried her down the stairs, out of the back door, and towards a van parked by the rear of the Vicarage. The side door was open, and as she put her into the back, he smiled and said “I need to make a second stop, and then I’ll take you both to a very special venue…”
Lady Constance smiled as she looked at herself in the mirror. “For a parish calendar, I do not feel I need to be dressed to the nines,” she said to herself, her large sunglasses perched on her light brown hair as she slipped on the grey cardigan. That was on over a plain brown tunic dress, the belt loosely fastened around her waist, and black suede boots with a stack heel.
“But a picture on a phone, no – I need to take a proper picture for this,” she said to herself as she went to the library, and took out from a drawer a camera. Returning to her bedroom, she looked at herself in the mirror, and said “wonderful” as she pointed the camera, and took a picture.
“A true masterpiece, your ladyship.”
She turned to look at the young man standing there, and said quietly “you are?”
“Ah – I am known as the Selfie Snatcher, and I have been commissioned to take you to a special meeting today. I am afraid I need to ensure you cannot raise the alarm however.” He took from his pocket a roll of white tape, and said with a smile “if you would be so kind as to turn round, and put your hands behind your back.”
“How did you get past my housekeeper,” Lady Constance asked as she turned, intrigued as to what he would do, and then felt him cross her wrists before the tape forced them together, pulling slightly on the skin of her arms.
“She had to step out for a few minutes, so time is precious,” he said with a smile as he then wrapped the tape around her waist, trapping her wrists against her back as she looked on. “I will just make sure you stay quiet, and then invite you to take a walk with me.”
“Well, I cannot deny your manners,” Lady Constance said as she looked at the white addition to her attire, “and how do you propose to keep me quiet?”
“If you would kindly purse your lips?”
Mary looked at the side of the van as it opened up, and the Snatcher came in, helping his latest addition inside.
“Ghddmhrnnhmhree,” Lady Constance said, her lips moving under the white tape as she was helped to sit next to Mary, and then her ankles secured with a zip tie. “Now, ladies,” the young man said, “I take you to where the meeting is, and then I bring the others to you.”
Both women looked at him, wondering what he meant as he closed the door, and then the van moved off…
“Thank you, Mrs Slocombe,” Zoe said as she showed the elderly lady out of the village store, and then closed the door, locking it and putting the sign to closed before she sighed. It had been a busy morning, but now she just had time to get her entry ready for the contest.
The shopkeeper had long blonde hair, and was wearing a blue and white spotted short sleeved blouse, a knee length blue skirt, and straight black leather boots. Smiling, she made her way up the stairs, unaware of the man who had slipped in the back…
“Right,” she said to herself as she stood in the bedroom, “let’s get this done.” Holding her white phone in front of herself, she looked down, took a deep breath, took the picture – and then smiled as she looked at herself.
“Perfect,” she said as she turned round – and was pushed face down onto the bed, taken completely by surprise as someone pulled her wrists behind her back, and tied them together quickly with thin cords.
“Oh god,” she whispered, “please, I’ll tell you how to open the safe, just…”
“This isn’t a robbery.”
“It’s not – oh no, please…”
“Lady,” the male voice said, “I’m just taking you for a little trip, nothing more nothing less, but I like to make it an adventure. Now, open your mouth.”
“But why whllddiihhhhmmmmm” Zoe said as a knotted blue bandana was pushed into her mouth, the cloth mass pushing her tongue down as it was tied tightly round her head, and she felt her ankles been pushed together, then heard third the squeak as her ankles were bound tightly with ropes.
“Bthhhwwhrruuu,” she mumbled as she felt her captor pull the cords together, and then secure her legs together below her knees. She was too scared to do anything except breathe through her nostrils, hoping she would not be harmed or hurt.
“Stand up please.” Zoe was helped to stand on her bound feet, before a black scarf was tied over her eyes, cutting off her sight before she felt someone lifting her, carrying her in his arms as he walked off. She kay still, only wriggling slightly as she was walked away, but she could feel the cool breeze on her face that told her she was been taken somewhere, and the sound of her captor’s feet on concrete, then wood as she felt she was been taken down some stairs.
“Hssthtrrrr,” Zoe said as she was sat in a wooden seat, and she felt more ropes being tied round her upper body, pulling her back against the support as she looked round, desperate to see who was there. When the blindfold was removed, she looked at the other two women, both also tied tightly to the chairs with ropes, and said “Whhhtthtttt….”
“Right – supper is in the oven, time for a photo,” Agnes said to herself as she looked round. The wife of the local constable, she felt she was safe doing this in her own home – after all, the unfortunate incidents the Ladies Circle had been involved in were in the past, what could possibly happen now?
She adjusted the loose black and white cardigan she was wearing over her white top, and picked up the camera which was on the work surface. The long grey skirt covered her legs to just below her knees, and the long black boots covered what was left.
“I hope Mary appreciates what I am doing,” she said quietly to herself as she held the camera up, and then took a photograph – before she heard the applause and looked round.
“Who are you,” she said quietly as she looked at the young man in the hooded top, “I have to warn you, my husband is…”
“The village constable, yes I know – he has been called out to one of the farms, which gives me enough time to invite you to come with me,” the man said with a smile.
“Come with you – where?”
“The Ladies Circle are gathering – and I have been sent to bring you, but we need to go in a certain way. Please, put the camera down, and then put your hands behind your back.”
“Why should I – oh,” Agnes said quietly as she saw the rope in his hands, and turned round, unsure why she was obeying him as he crossed and secured her wrists tightly together. He was skilled, but he was not hurting her, for which she was thankful.
“My husband will…”
“When we get where we are going, I do not think you will let your husband know,” he said with a smile as he turned her round, and she saw a folded cloth in his hand. “Open wide now.”
“I will be quiet…”
“Yes, yes you will – open wide now.”
Agnes looked at him, and then allowed him to push the cloth into her mouth, closing her lips over it before he tore a wide strip of clear tape from a roll, and carefully smoothed it over her mouth and chin. As she looked in the mirror, she was surprised at how normal it looked.
“Now – why don’t we pop next door, and collect your sister…”
“Agnes – is that you? I’ll be down in a second!”
Flora looked at herself, brushing some lint from her long tiered light purple skirt, and then adjusting the dark purple cardigan she was wearing over her black top. She was also wearing long black leather boots, like her sister, but she held a white mobile phone in her hand, as she smiled and took the picture.
Flora turned and looked at her sister, her hands behind her back, and her lips together, as she laughed and said “are we playing the mumble game again?”
“Not that game, no.”
She then saw the man behind her, and walked over to Agnes, looking at her mouth as she said “oh my god…”
“I am known as the Selfie Snatcher – and you are both coming with me, so turn round, and put your hands behind your back.”
Flora looked at Agnes, who slowly nodded as her sister turned and moved her hands behind her, feeling the thin cord as the young man secured her wrists tightly together. He then turned her round as well, and as she opened her mouth he pushed a fresh cloth inside, and then pressed the clear tape carefully over her lips so there were no creases or air bubbles.
He then went to the wardrobe, the sisters watching as he found two woollen ponchos. “I was told these would be here,” he said as he placed over each of their heads, covering their bound wrists.
“Shall we find out,” he said with a smile as all three left the house, walking down the street as Agnes and Flora looked at each other, wondering why nobody was noticing they were a hostage, before he opened the door to the new coffee shop. The ladies looked at each other as he walked them in, and down to the cellar.
“Have a seat,” he said to each of them as they looked at Mary, Constance and Zoe, all three already tied tightly to their chairs as the Snatcher used longer ropes to bind the two sisters to their seats, and then secured their ankles as well as their legs below their knees.
“Ah – good, you’re all here.”
“Hello ladies,” Sheila said as she came down, wearing her Guide Leader’s outfit with her own black leather boots. “I’ve already done my selfie, but I wanted to discuss a second fund raising event with all of you. A sponsored kidnapping – and I want to thank my nephew for getting you here.”
“Sorry ladies – I’m not the real Selfie Snatcher, just helping my favourite auntie out,” he said with a smile.
“And now you can help me John – tie me to a chair, gag me, and then we can discuss my idea as real hostages…”