The Black Cat
New York in
July can at times be rightly described as a hell hole, the heat so oppressive
that your utility bills have to soar or you bake even at night. In the
old days, the trade in ice blocks to cool the air was immense, but these days
air conditioning has taken that place.
Even with that, however, some people prefer to sleep with the window open, and on this particular July night Cissy Barker had the window of her apartment open and the air conditioning going full blast. Even with that, however, she slept restlessly, as she kicked the covers off and lay in her grey silk top and shorts.
She mumbled something in her sleep, reflecting the dreams she was having – unaware of the shadow that passed her window, or the rustle of the curtains as they were moved to the side and a figure came in.
The woman wore a black leather jacket zipped up to her neck, tight black leggings and mid-length suede boots. Soft leather gloves covered her hand, and a stocking was pulled down over her short red hair and head. She stood for a moment, looking down at the sleeping young woman, and then made her way noiselessly to the door, opening and closing it as quietly as possible.
The apartment was dark, but that was not a problem, as the woman slipped a small penlight from her pocket and shone it down the hallway. Smiling, she made her way to the main room and started to search carefully, quietly, looking to see what she could find to take.
Her smile under the nylon broadened as she found a purse, and opened it, carefully emptying the contents onto the table in the kitchen area and taking the notes from her purse, as well as her credit cards. She knew someone who would be able to take very good care of them – eventually.
There was also a gold ladies watch sitting on the kitchen unit, which she looked at and then placed in the little velvet sack she had taken from her jacket pocket. Looking round the room, she smiled and made her way back to the bedroom.
The penlight went back into the jacket as she allowed her eyes to adjust to the gloom. On the bed, Cissy turned over and tucked her hands under her head, mumbling again to herself.
The intruder turned and walked to a chest of drawers, opening the top drawer and searching carefully through the panties that were neatly folded inside. Shaking her head, she closed the first drawer and then moved to the next one, finding a selection of scarves which she looked carefully at before closing it again.
She made her way slowly down the drawers, stopping as she opened the second from the bottom and smiling as she drew out from under a selection of t-shirts a long white box.
Placing it gently on the floor, she opened it and took out a set of pearls, which glistened in the pale moonlight that shone through the open window. She slipped them into the velvet sack, and then closed the box, leaving it on the floor as she searched for more in the same drawer.
Her search was rewarded with several more boxes, yielding several rings and other items of jewellery. All went into the sack, but as she closed the last box she was aware that the breathing she had been listening to had stopped.
Standing, she watched Cissy as she felt in her other pocket for something she felt she may have to show the young blonde. She stood stock still, holding her breath and silently praying that she might be wrong.
For her part, Cissy was lying with her eyes open, her face to the open window as she prayed she was wrong about what had woken her. Very carefully, she rolled over and looked to the other side of the bed, unsure of what she was seeing. There was someone there, in the gloom, looking at her.
She opened her mouth to scream, only for it to be covered by a leather gloved hand as a female voice said “Not a word, lady – I have a gun in my hand, and while I don’t want to use it…”
Cissy looked at the small pistol pointed at her, and then back at the strangely obscured features of the woman looking down at her, before she slowly nodded and said “Lllbqt.”
“Good,” the woman said as she removed her hand. “Roll over, and put your hands behind your back.”
“Who are you,” Cissy whispered as she looked up.
“Never mind,” the woman said, “roll over, put your hands behind your back, and keep quiet.”
Cissy nodded as she did as she was commanded, trying to control her own fear as the woman walked to the chest of drawers, and took out a selection of scarves, dumping them on the bed before she selected long gold coloured chiffon scarf, and crossed Cissy’s wrists behind her back, wrapping the scarf around and between her arms as she secured them together.
As she tied the scarf off, the masked woman let out a soft gasp, Cissy looking back down as she selected a second long chiffon scarf, this one white, and used it to pull her arms together, almost making her elbows touch as she tied it off. A brown bandana was then tied between her arms to tighten the soft band around them.
“Why are you doing this,” Cissy whispered as the woman went back to the pile, and selected a white silk square, and a small blue one Cissy sometimes used to keep her hair tied back.
“Isn’t it obvious,” the woman said as she folded the white scarf into a band, and used it to secure Cissy’s ankles together, employing the blue square to cinch the white band between her legs. A larger red and green square with a black bandana was sued to secure her legs together below her knees, before the masked intruder rolled Cissy over onto her back.
“Please,” Cissy pleaded, “Just leave me like this, I won’t scream or anything….”
“Shhh,” the woman said as she pushed a folded pair of Cissy’s panties into her mouth, and then used a folded black silk square as a cleave gag, pushing the stuffing further into the girl’s mouth as she tied it tightly round her head.
“Now,” she said as she placed the young girl’s cell phone on the bedside table, “I’m sure you will eventually be able to raise the alarm, but I’m not going to make it easy for you.”
Rolling Cissy over, she pulled the bound girl’s ankles back and used one last Hermes headsquare, the equine pattern printed in black on gold, to secure them to her arms.
“There,” she said as Cissy rolled onto her side and looked at her, “Forgive me, I need to check one more place.” She walked over to the wardrobe and opened it, smiling as she took out a large jewellery box and opened it.
Cissy could only give mumbled complaints as the thief emptied the contents into her sack, before she smiled, the smile distorted by whatever was covering her face as she said “Thank you, lady – have a nice night.”
Cissy could only scream into her gag as the intruder placed the cell phone on the pillow next to her, and then waved as she ducked out of the window.
She looked from side to side as she swiftly made her way down the fire escape and walked quickly to the main street. As she walked along, she removed the stocking from her head and stuffed it into her pocket before unzipping her jacket, revealing a white t-shirt underneath.
Hailing a cab, she climbed in and said “Washington Heights.”
Thirty minutes later, the red head let herself into her apartment, having doubled back from the Heights to her own street, and went to the kitchen, pouring herself a glass of milk before she sat at her laptop. Opening the sack, she withdrew the jewels and looked at them, before sending a secure e-mail to a contact she had made, setting up a meeting for tomorrow.
She then took the credit cards, and made a few orders for clothes and high heeled boots, making sure they were delivered by express to a secure post box that she had hired. Not too much, not too expensive – but very nice and fashionable. She then destroyed the cards, placing the fragments in a clear bag whish she sealed and placed to one side to dispose of tomorrow.
Standing up, she walked to the window and looked out over the sunrise over Manhattan. “I can’t sleep – I’m too pumped,” she said to herself as she removed the red wig, and allowed her blonde hair to fall. Heading for her bedroom, she removed her boots and the rest of her clothing, placing them in a holdall with the wig and hiding it at the back of her wardrobe before heading for the shower.
When she emerged, drying her hair as she wore a white bathrobe, she sat down and turned the television on, smiling as she picked up a brown book and looked at the inscription inside.
“To Miss Kelly – thank you for everything. Carina.”
“Oh if you only knew, Cari,” Annie Kelly said as she sat back and watched the early morning news…