Heidi and the Halloween Party
Amy turned and looked at her daughter, sitting at the breakfast bar and playing with her bowl of fruit. Drying the last glass, she put it into the cupboard and sat opposite the seventeen year old blonde.
“Mum, would it be possible for me to have a party this Halloween? It’s a Saturday, so there would be no problem with school the next morning.”
Amy looked at her daughter, before saying “Normally, I would not have a problem with that sweetheart, but this year I’m afraid I do. I need to go away that weekend – a team building exercise that I can’t get out of – and I’m not sure you and a bunch of girls alone in this house is a good idea. I was going to tell you later today, but since you raised the question...”
Heidi sat with a frown on her face for a moment, before realising exactly what her mother was saying. It had now been three months since she had spent her first weekend at her Aunt Veronica’s house, with everything that happened then, and she had been looking for an opportunity to go back. On the other hand, she knew her mother had been concerned about the break-in that had taken place when she was there, so Heidi knew if she was going to allow her newly formed plan she would have to tread carefully. She spoke quietly, while being careful not to show how excited she was at the prospect of spending more time there.
“Mum, if I can convince Aunt Veronica to host a party, could I stay there for the weekend?”
Amy stood for a moment, before saying “Oh, I’m fine with that – I just wish I could be here. Your aunt knows how to throw a great party, and I would love to have been there. Listen – why don’t you give her a call and arrange to see her on Saturday? I can drop you in town, and you can start to plan the arrangements then.”
“All right, mum,” Heidi said as she picked up a slice of mango. She was already forming a plan in her mind – one that might kill two birds with one stone, as it were.
“A party? Sure, I don’t see why not – I presume you want it to be a costume one?”
Heidi nodded as she looked at her Aunt Veronica. They were sat in the coffee shop downtown, near where Veronica had a branch office of her real estate business. As this was a work day for her, she was dressed in a blue linen jacket and skirt, with a white camisole top underneath, and heeled shoes. Heidi was slightly more casually dressed, in a pair of white shorts and a striped t-shirt with sandals on her feet.
“Actually, Aunt Veronica, I was wondering if...”
Veronica looked at her niece and smiled. She knew what was coming – Heidi had learned of certain things in the past when she had stayed before, and despite the fact they had been rather rudely interrupted had shown the same taste for games that she had shared with her sister at that age.
“We’ll have to see Heidi – remember you will have a lot of friends there, and there may not be much time.”
“I know – but I want your help. You see, I want to see if one of my friends may like to take part in our games as well.”
“Oh yes,” Veronica said as she looked at Heidi. “And which friend would that be?”
“Her name’s Cindy – we’ve known each other for years, and I know she likes the Nancy Drew books as well. I was just wondering...”
“Hmm – you need to be very careful if you are not certain, Heidi. Not everyone likes to be tied up, you know.” She looked at the young woman as her face fell, before saying “Having said that, there is a way we can find out, if you are willing to give it a try. We can test the waters during the party and see what happens.”
“Really?” Heidi said as a smile returned to her face. “Really,” Veronica said in return. “Now, if you want to come back to the office with me, we can start to draw up what an invitation would look like...”
SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN NIGHT!!
SATURDAY, 31ST OCTOBER, 8-12.
COME IN YOUR BEST COSTUME!!
ADDRESS AND DETAILS TO FOLLOW – RSVP!
The message was printed on a red card with black thick lettering, pictures of a ghostly apparition around it, and drew some admiring looks as Heidi handed them out to her friends during recess. She could see in their faces a mixture of excitement and thoughtfulness, as they started to think about what they could wear. She moved through the crowd, handing out more invites until she saw a dark haired girl sitting on a bench at the far side of the open area.
“Cindy,” Heidi said as she waved across the courtyard. Cindy was about the same height as her, and wore a blue pinafore dress over a white blouse – a sign of her mother’s old fashioned values.
“Oh, it’s you Heidi,” she said as her friend ran over. “I was just wondering what all the excitement was about. What have you got there?”
“Oh this,” Heidi said as she sat down next to Cindy, “Just an invite to the hottest party to ever be thrown in the area. I’m having the girls over for a Halloween party to end all Halloween parties – can you come?”
Cindy took the invite from Heidi’s hand and looked at it. “It sounds like fun,” she said, “but I need to ask my mother for permission. Will everyone else be there?”
“Nobody has said no yet,” Heidi replied with a smile, “and if your mom’s worried about things, then she can talk to my Aunt Veronica. The party is at her house, and she’s a very strict chaperone – trust me on this one.” As she looked at Cindy, she could see a hint that her friend wanted to come, but she knew what her mother was like. “Just tell her that there will be no boys there – that may make things easier.”
“Your Aunt Veronica – she runs the office in town doesn’t she? I think she sold us our house some years ago.” Cindy sat in thought for a moment. “All right, I’ll ask mother and see what she says.”
“Can’t say fairer than that,” Heidi said as she stood up. “Come on – I’m starving. Let’s go to the cafeteria and grab some lunch.” She pulled Cindy up by the hand and led the way back into the high school.
A week before the party, Heidi was sitting in her room trying to finish off an assignment when there was a knock on the door. “Heidi,” her mother said as she put her head round, “Could you come downstairs for a minute? A friend of yours is downstairs with her mother.”
“What have I done now?” Heidi thought to herself as she put her pen down and stood up. She was dressed in her normal Saturday clothes of shorts and a t-shirt, so when she came downstairs and saw Cindy sitting there with her mother, she stopped short.
Cindy was wearing a long, floral print skirt and a peach coloured blouse which was only open at the top button, while her mother was dressed in a high necked blouse under an Edwardian style dark dress. She looked at Heidi as she came in with a slightly disapproving eye, which was quickly lost as Amy sat opposite her.
“Mrs Elsworth here has called with Cindy to ask some questions about your party next week,” Amy said as she looked at Heidi, “and I think it would be better if the answers came from you. Please, go ahead Mrs Elsworth.”
“Thank you, Mrs Strong,” the older woman said as she turned to look at Heidi. “I have no problem in principle with Cindy attending your party next week, but I do have a few questions. I want your assurance that there will be no boys at the party.”
“I promise you, Mrs Elsworth,” Heidi said as she looked at Cindy’s mother, “that there will be no boys at the party. I have only invited girls who are my friends, and my Aunt will not allow any boys into the building.”
“Your aunt - she is a proper and trustworthy woman? She will ensure you are all safe and that you all behave?”
“Yes, Mrs Elsworth,” Heidi said, although she almost had to bite her tongue when she said it. “I promise that Aunt Veronica will be very strict if any of us do anything wrong.” Heidi knew just how strict she could be, but said nothing of that.
“There is one other thing,” Mrs Elsworth said as she looked at Cindy. “I will be able to bring Cindy, but she will need to be brought home. Will that be possible?” Heidi seized the opportunity and said “Actually, Mrs Elsworth, if you are willing then Cindy can stay at my aunt’s house with me after the party. I need to stay overnight, and we would be company for each other.”
“What do you say, Cindy?” Mrs Elsworth said as she turned to her daughter, who had been sitting with her head bowed. “That would be a good idea, mother,” she said quietly without raising her head, “if Miss Cabot is happy for me to stay as well.”
“I don’t think my sister will have a problem with that,” Amy said as she stood up. “Heidi, dear, why don’t you take Cindy up to your room and you can discuss what costumes you are going to wear. I will call Veronica now to make the arrangements – would you care for some coffee while I do that, Mrs Elsworth?”
“Come with me,” Heidi said as she took Cindy’s hand and led her up to her bedroom. As she closed the door, she turned and watched Cindy let out a slow gasp of air. “I love my mother,” she finally said, “but sometimes she drives me up the wall. When she said she was bringing me to see your mother, she made me treat it as a formal visit, rather than a drop in. I hate wearing this stuff outside of a Sunday.”
“So, do you think she will let you stay over?”
“I hope so – it would be good to spend some time with you, out of the house for a weekend. We could catch up on that project we are meant to be doing.”
“I was thinking of having more fun than working,” Heidi said with a smile. She watched as Cindy picked up the new Nancy Drew book that Heidi had bought the previous week.
“Clue of the Tapping Heels” Cindy said to herself. “Can I borrow this – I haven’t read it yet.”
“Of course you can,” Heidi said as the door opened. “Cindy,” Amy said as she looked in, “your mother has talked to Heidi’s aunt, and they have agreed that you can stay over for the weekend. She will bring you here next Saturday lunchtime, and I will run you both to the house. All right?”
“Thank you Mrs Strong,” Cindy said quietly. Amy smiled at the two girls before closing the door. “So what is this aunt of yours like?” she said as she turned to Heidi. “Oh she’s great,” Heidi said as she lay on the bed, “and full of ideas and games. I think it’s going to be an absolutely wicked night...”
As the car drove up the pathway to the house in the suburbs, Cindy looked out at the old colonial style building. “You never said your aunt was rich,” she said in a whisper as they stopped outside the front door.
“She’s not – just well off,” Heidi said as the door opened and Veronica stepped out. She was wearing a blue tracksuit and sneakers, and waited for the girls to get out of the car before stepping forward. “Hi, girls,” she said with a smile as Amy went to collect their bags from the boot of the car. “Go right on in – I have some drinks ready, and then you can help me decorate the house for later.
“Thanks for doing this, Veronica,” Amy said as she carried the two small cases into the lobby, “I need to move off sharpish. I wish I could stay – remember the parties we used to have?”
“Maybe next time,” Veronica said as Amy turned. “Behave yourselves, girls,” she called as they waved at her driving off, before Veronica closed the door. “Now then,” she said as she rubbed her hands, “drinks first, and then we will make a start.” She looked at Heidi in her pink t-shirt and shorts, and then Cindy in her short sleeved blouse and pinafore skirt. “I think you two will be doing some cutting and pasting,” she finally said, “while I do the heavy lifting and tying.” Heidi looked at her aunt as she said this, and saw the tiniest of winks in response. “Come on, those drinks will get warm if we don’t get a move on.”
The rest of the day was spent in getting Veronica’s house ready. As Heidi and Cindy made decorations and prepared snacks, Veronica cleared two of the large downstairs rooms out and set up some hangings and decorations. She had already made some carved pumpkins, which were placed around the rooms with candles inside ready to be lit, but when Heidi tried to go in the back room she stopped her and simply said “Not yet.”
Eventually, as the clock reached five thirty, she turned to the two girls and said “I think you both need to go and start getting ready – your guests will be here soon Heidi, and I need to get my costume on as well.” The two girls nodded and ran off to the room they would be sharing, while Veronica turned on the radio.
“Once again, there is a storm warning for about eleven o’clock tonight, and house owners are warned to make sure they have everything secured.” As Veronica heard this, she smiled and simply said “Perfect.”
“Purrrfect – simply purrfect” Cindy said with a laugh as Heidi slipped the large black mask over her eyes. Her friend was wearing a black leotard over thick tights, and had a long black tail tied to her waist by a length of cord. She had used makeup to whiten her face and drawn a set of whickers either side of her nose, on which she had put black make up. As he pulled a pair of black and white gloves onto her hands, Heidi laughed at her friend’s comment. The leotard fitted like a glove, showing her youthful curves.
“Well, it is a costume party,” she said as she looked at herself in the mirror, “So I decided to go for broke.” As she slipped a pair of black ballet slippers onto her feet, she looked at Cindy as she carefully placed a band with a pair of red devil horns stuck on top of her hair.
“I have to admit, it was devilishly clever of you,” Heidi said as she picked up the plastic trident she had bought with her and stood there, her head to one side. Cindy was wearing a red long sleeved leotard, her legs covered in red tights and a pair of red slippers on her feet. It was a little bit of a shock to Heidi, who was used to seeing Cindy in more conservative clothes, that her friend was wearing such a close fitting outfit. “This is not you rebelling against your mother, is it?”
“A little – she wanted me to some as Alice,” Cindy said as the two girls left the bedroom. “I’ve got that costume as well, but I feel much more excited in this one.” As they came down the stairs, they saw Veronica walking out of the main room, looking up at them and saying “Ah, excellent – my cat and my little devil are present and correct.”
The two girls stared at the older woman. She was wearing a long black dress, with sleeves that reached half way down her forearms and a skirt with a ragged hem the came to just above her knees, black stockings and five inch black heels. A large black conical hat was on her head, underneath which was a white wig that covered her own naturally dark hair. A cauldron and broomstick stood in the corner, the cauldron filled with sweets.
“In case the local children should call during the party,” Veronica said with a smile as she did a small twirl. “I do like to be the actress again at this time of year. Now, if I am not mistaken, that will be the first of your friends arriving. Places, girls – it’s showtime!”
“All right girls,” Veronica called out at the top of her voice as she turned down the volume on the stereo, “I have some special games lined up for all of you – some very traditional Halloween games. Who wants to take part?”
She had been worried that none of them would want to do what she had planned, given they were sixteen and seventeen, but when she saw Cindy put her hand up, followed by the others, she knew she had them where they needed to be. They put down their cups and followed the witch to the room she had barred Heidi and Cindy from going into earlier. “I have challenges within,” she said as she turned to look at the group gathered round her, “that will test you all to see who is the smartest and bravest of all. Are you ready?” The excited whoops that were given in response pleased Veronica as she opened the door and allowed them to come in.
“First,” she said as she stopped by a large bowl that had been filled with apples,” you must show me who is brave enough to retrieve the containers from the pool of despair.” The room was lit by candles, but as Heidi’s eyes adjusted she saw a number of small apples bobbing on the surface of the bowl. “Who is brave enough to go first – you, perhaps, Amazon,” she said to one girl who was wearing a Wonder Woman costume, the topless bodice showing her pale shoulders.
“Sure,” she said as she stepped forward, “I’ll have a go.” As she went to bend forward, however, Veronica said “First, I must ensure you are stripped of your amazing Amazonian powers.” She showed the group a strip of thin white cloth, and said “I must secure your wrists behind you, so that you face the challenge with your wits alone. Do you accept?”
“I accept,” she said as she placed her wrists behind her back. Heidi watched her aunt quickly tie the girl’s wrist together, using a simple knot and not too tightly, and then cheered her on with the others as she plunged her head into the bowl and tried to grab an apple. It took a few minutes, but eventually she emerged with an apple between her teeth to loud applause.
“Who will be next,” Veronica said, and one by one the girls allowed their hands to be tied behind their backs as they bobbed for apples. When Cindy went forward, Heidi watched as she had her wrists drawn together, noting her look of interest as she tried to see what Veronica had done to her. Finally, Heidi took her turn, noticing that in her case her aunt pulled her wrists tightly together. “I know you can handle this,” she said as she cinched her binding with a second length of cloth, before allowing her to go for the last apple.
“You have all passed the first test,” Veronica said to the group, “but are you ready to face the second? You need to find another container that has been suspended from the wall – but this time you will not be able to see.” She held up a collection of wide cloth bands as she said this. “So, who will accept my challenge this time?”
All the girls nodded eagerly as Veronica went round blindfolding each one. “Not you,” she said as she passed Heidi, “I think you will enjoy seeing what happens this time.” Heidi watched as her aunt tied a black cloth over Cindy’s eyes before guiding the group of girls to stand in a circle. Suspended from the ceiling in front of the girls was a selection of toffee apples and treacle scones, glistening in the candle light.
“Now, girls, step forward and try to find your prize,” Veronica said, and Heidi had to stop herself laughing as she saw the girls trying desperately to find what was in front of them. One girl, who had come dressed as a cave girl, actually screamed when her hair brushed against a scone that was hanging from the ceiling, while another walked quickly into a large treacle scone, leaving her face covered in sticky thick treacle.
“Finally,” Veronica called out as the laughter continued, “We must see if you can face the terror of the unknown touch. I have some sand here,” she said as Heidi looked at a barrel in a corner, “and each of you will reach in blindfolded and draw out your final reward. If you are brave enough to do this, stand still and I will fetch you. If not, then sit down and accept defeat.”
To her delight, Veronica saw none of the girls sit down, so he took Wonder Woman by the arm and guided her to the barrel. Removing the cloth around her hands, she watched as she plunged her arm in, moving round for a moment until she drew out a small parcel. “Well done,” Veronica whispered as she removed the blindfold, “Why don’t you go with Heidi and get some more food.”
“Aunt Veronica,” Heidi said as she looked on, “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Oh yes,” her aunt said as she came and untied her wrists. As she took her guest out to the main room, Heidi watched Veronica guiding the next grill to the barrel.
“That was fantastic, Heidi – your aunt is the best!!” As the last of the girls waved and climbed into her father’s car, Heidi and Cindy watched as Veronica closed the door. “Alone at last,” she said as she turned to the girls. “Did you enjoy yourselves?”
“I did,” Heidi said, “It’s just a pity it has to end so soon. What about you Cindy?”
“I t was fun – it felt quite different not been able to use my hands or see. I mean, I read about it in books, but when it happened to me it was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be.”
A large crack of thunder came from outside, making Cindy jump a little. “Ah,” Veronica said as she looked out of the window, “The storm is breaking. A perfect time for stories of ghosts and ghouls – if you are interested? You don’t have to be early in the morning, after all.”
Heidi looked at her friend, and said “I’d like that – but aren’t you scared we might try and run away? After all, we may get scared.”
“You know, I never thought of that,” Veronica said as she put her hand to her chin. “What do you think we should do about that, Cindy?”
Heidi and Veronica looked at Cindy, wondering if she would rise to the bait. “Well,” she said eventually, “I suppose if we were in a locked room, and unable to open the door at all, we would have to listen. That is how the spy would stop Nancy Drew interfering.”
“And how do you think I would do that?” The thunder repeated and a flash of bright light shone in through the windows by the door. “Well, we could be locked in the attic with our hands tied,” Heidi suggested, looking to see if Cindy was open to the idea. As she watched, her friend slowly nodded. “We would not have to tell my mother, would we?” she asked quietly. “Not unless you want to,” Veronica said with a smile, “but first you two should go to the toilet, and then meet me out here in five minutes. Hurry up now.”
Cindy and Heidi ran up the stairs. “What do you think your aunt has in mind?” Cindy said as she removed her headband and loosened the tail she had secured round her waist. “I think I know, but I need to ask something first,” Heidi said as she removed her eye mask. “How did you feel when she secured your hands behind your back and blindfolded you?”
Cindy looked at her friend for a moment, before saying “It was a little scary, but not too bad. Why?”
“Aunt Veronica is an actress, and we sometimes act out scenes when I stay. I think she may want to do this now, and it may involve her tying your hands again. Would you be willing to let her do that?”
Cindy nodded. “What does she have in mind,” she asked, before an answer was given by Veronica, who stood in the doorway and said “So, my familiar and my devil thought they could trick me, did they? I’ll have to punish them for that. Come with me.”
She pointed them to a stair that led up to the attic, and followed them as they walked into the large open area. A number of beams came down from the roof to the floor, supporting the ceiling, and the room was lit with candles.
“Stand next to those pillars,” Veronica commanded the two girls, and Heidi took Cindy over to one of the smaller pillars, before taking her place at one a few feet away. They watched as Veronica opened a bag and took out a number of lengths of white rope.
“I need to make sure you are going to stay where you are,” she said as she walked up to Heidi. “Put your hands in front of you.” Cindy watched, fascinated as Veronica wrapped the end of a length of rope around Heidi’s wrists, binding them together before taking the rope around her waist and the pillar, holding both them and her against the wooden support. Taking another length, she wrapped it around her arms and chest, until it looked as if she was cocooned against the wood. This made her chest stick out, drawing some strange looks from Cindy as she glanced over.
Picking up another length of rope, Veronica walked over to Cindy. “Now that I have my cat secured,” she said as she stood in front of the young girl, “I need to make sure my devil cannot disappear – and this rope will prevent you doing so.” She winked as she looked in to Cindy’s face, and Cindy smiled in return as she held her wrists out. Soon she too was secured to the pole, the rope snugly tied around her as he looked over at Heidi.
“How do you feel,” Heidi said as Veronica turned to pick up a book. “Weird – safe, and yet a little bit scared – kinda nice, though,” Cindy said as Veronica turned back round.
“Now that I have you nice and snug,” Veronica said as the lightning illuminated the attic room for a moment, “I can give you your punishment. Prepare to be scared, young ladies.”
As she picked up a book and settled herself on a bean bag, Cindy turned to Heidi and said “Your aunt really is cool.” Heidi nodded as Veronica opened her book and started reading.
“ The ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avator and its seal — the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.”
An hour later, the two girls watched transfixed as Veronica spoke.
“And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”
She closed the book and looked at the two young girls. “Is that sufficient punishment for you, my little ones?” They both nodded as Veronica stood up. “Very well then, you have earned your rest. We will clear the rest of the mess you made in the morning, but for now return to your chambers.” As she said this, she released both girls from the ropes and watched as they walked down the stairs.
“So, did you enjoy that?” Heidi asked as the two girls changed into their night clothes. Cindy sat on the bed and looked over at her friend.
“Yes – but for god’s sake don’t tell my mother I said that. It felt good, and I wasn’t scared at all – at least not by that. The story, on the other hand...”
“Oh come on – have you never seen the film?” As the girls climbed into their beds, they lay talking before sleep finally overtook both of them. A short while later, Veronica opened the door and looked in, smiling as she turned the light off.
“Well, good morning sleepy heads.”
Veronica smiled at the two girls as they walked into the kitchen, rubbing their eyes as they sat at the table. “What time is it?” Heidi asked as her aunt placed two plates of pancakes in front of them.
“Eleven – I’ve already cleared up most of the stuff, and Assumpta can deal with the rest tomorrow. So, what would you like to do with the rest of today?”
As Heidi tucked into her pancakes, Cindy looked at her and her aunt. “Can I ask a question?”
“Of course dear.”
“Last night, when we were upstairs – is this something you and Heidi have done before?”
Veronica looked at her niece before sitting down. “We do play games like that from time to time,” she eventually said as she sat down. “I’m sorry if I scared you in doing that.”
“No – no, you did not scare me. I was wondering...”
Heidi and Veronica looked at Cindy as she ate a mouthful of pancakes.
“Cnw ply nnce drw ltr?” she mumbled as she tried to eat and swallow at the same time.
“Sorry, Cindy, I did not catch that,” Heidi said with a laugh as she watched her friend swallow.
“I said, can we play Nancy Drew later? I’ve read the books, and wondered what it would feel like to be a captive, and – well, I can trust you two, can’t I?” She looked at the two women with wide eyes, wondering what their reaction would be.
“I tell you what,” Veronica eventually said, “Finish your breakfast, go to the toilet, and then we can play a game. I’ll be the evil female villain who captures the two teenage snoops. How does that sound? I promise, Cindy, as it will be your first time I will be gentle.” She watched the smile on Cindy’s face and glanced at Heidi, who winked back at her.
Thirty minutes later, Cindy was sat on a couch in the front room of the house, her hands on her head as she watched Veronica tying Heidi’s hands together as she sat in a high backed chair. She had guided them through the gaps in the chair back, and was busy wrapping a length of rope around and between them. Veronica had changed into a black jumper and slacks, with the legs tucked into short black boots and a pair of black gloves on her hand. Heidi was wearing a short sleeved powder blue t-shirt and shorts, with white socks and sneakers. As Veronica wrapped more rope around her arms and chest, she said “This will teach you snoops not to nose around places you aren’t mean to go into.”
“You don’t scare us,” Heidi said as she felt the ropes pulling her against the chair back. “Our parents will come looking for us, and...”
“And that’s enough out of you,” Veronica said as she pulled a brown bandana into Heidi’s mouth. Cindy watched, fascinated as the older woman lashed her friend’s ankles to the chair legs, before picking up a length of rope and walking over to Cindy.
“Your turn, cutie,” Veronica said as she knelt in front of Cindy. “Are you going to give me trouble like your friend there did?”
“No,” Cindy whispered, “I’ll do whatever you say.”
“Good girl,” Veronica said with a smile. “Put your hands out in front of you as if you are praying.” As Cindy held her hands out, palms together, Veronica wrapped the rope around them and pulled them together. Cindy was wearing a long sleeved top under a green t-shirt and a pair of denim bib shorts, as well as socks and sneakers, so the rope went around the cuffs of her top as Veronica quickly bound her wrists together. Once she was satisfied that they were held tightly together, she passed the rope down and wrapped it around Cindy’s ankles, binding them tightly together while Cindy watched.
“Time to keep you quiet,” Veronica said as she picked up a black bandana and folded it into a band. Cindy closed her mouth as Veronica pulled the cloth tightly over her mouth, knotting the ends together at the base of her neck under her hair before checking the young girl was well secured. “Don’t either of you move,” she said as she walked out of the room, closing the door behind herself.
Cindy looked over at Heidi and mumbled “ru ll rght?” Heidi nodded before saying “shr – nchyng urslf?” Cindy nodded, and if Heidi could have seen under the scarf she would have seen a smile.
Not that Heidi was unhappy; she had a new friend to play games with, so long as her mother never found out. She was already wondering when Cindy would be able to stay over again, and planning what they could do then.
What she could not have known, of course, is what would happen to the two of them – and also to her mother and Aunt Veronica.
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