Leila smiled as she checked through her e-mails. After some of the events of the last few months, she wanted to celebrate everything that had happened to her – with some of her closest friends, the ones she knew could enjoy what she had planned, the ones she knew could keep the secret.
She only hoped they would understand and accept what had happened once they all were gathered together…
As she walked along the ground floor of the large shopping mall, Faatina was a mixture of bored and anticipating. She was looking in some of the designer store windows, but it was another week until pay day, and until then she could only dream.
As for the anticipation – she had heard from Leila, and knew she was getting together with her and some of the other girls later that day, and that she had something to tell them all, but what she had not said.
“Always looking to surprise us,” Faatina said as she looked in the mirror. Her long red cardigan was open, and hung loosely over the black long sleeved top with “I heart” printed on the front, the letter in white and the heart in red. The black was the same shade as the scarf wrapped over her head and round her neck, and the leggings she was wearing, while on her feet were a pair of black fur lined suede boots, with the fur forming a V on the inside of the leg.
Shaking her head, she walked along the pathway, humming to herself before she turned to go into the rest room. She didn’t hear the footsteps behind her – he first she knew of something happening was when a black bag was placed over her head, and she called out “hey, whsssgnnnnnggg!”
The muffled call came as something was pulled between her lips, trapping the hood as well as she felt the pressure on her cheeks of something been tied round it. Two people then walked, their arms intertwined with hers as she was half walked, half carried somewhere.
She could hear a door opening, and she was lifted into something, before her hands were taken behind her back and she felt some sort of cord been used to force her wrists together. She was still in shock as to what was happening, as she was sat down on a metal floor, and she felt the same restriction been applied to her ankles.
“Relax,” a male voice said, “nobody’s going to hurt you. We’re taking you to see Leila.”
“Hrrruuu?” Faatina struggled, but the cords were strong and held firm, so she sat back, as the floor started to vibrate and she realised they were in some sort of vehicle – especially after it lurched forward and started to move…
“Another day, another post on Instagram,” the young woman said to herself as she sat at the table, slowly sipping her coffee. She was thin, with dark hair currently hidden under the red scarf she was wearing as a turban, the end hanging in front of her. A black choker was round her neck, and she was wearing a black sweatshirt, jeans and knee length black leather boots.
“Right – time to get to work,” she said to herself as she hung her large brown handbag over her shoulder, and made her way into the washroom, looking at herself in the mirror before she took her mobile phone from her bag and took her picture.
Qabilah span round to see a sandy haired man behind her, pointing a gun at her. “Hello,” he said quietly, “the papers call me the Selfies Snatcher – and now that you have had your selfie taken, it’s time for me to snatch you. I’ve been asked to take you somewhere – and I want you to do exactly what I tell you.”
“And that is,” she replied quietly.
“Stand still and open wide,” he said as he stepped forward, taking a sponge ball from his pocket in his spare hand. Qabilah stared at him, and then opened her mouth, feeling the sponge expand behind her teeth and pressing her tongue down as it expanded.
Putting the gun into a pocket, the Snatcher then took out a wide roll of clear tape, tore a long strip off and pressed it gently over her mouth, ensuring there were no creases or air pockets. As she glanced in the mirror, Qabilah noticed unless she really looked closely, it was impossible to see her mouth was silenced.
“Now, come with me – and no attempts to raise the alarm please,” he said as he took her arm and looked out of the door, before he escorted her through the coffee shop, out onto the street and along to the nearby car park. Opening the front passenger door, he helped Qabilah to sit inside, before taking a ball of string and securing her wrists together in front of her. He then took the string down and wound it round her ankles, securing them together before he cut the string and tied it off.
From the glove compartment, he took a pair of dark glasses, and as he placed them on Qabilah’s head she was shocked to see the lenses were painted with black paint. “Now then – a little drive, and then you will have a nice surprise,” he said as he strapped her in with the seatbelt, and then closed the door. She heard him open the driver’s door and get in, before the car moved off…
“Here we are,” she heard the Selfie Snatcher say as she felt the car stop, and then heard car doors opening and closing. The seatbelt was released, and then she was lifted out of the seat and carried in his arms. She could hear his footfall on concrete, and then wood, before she was sat on some sort of bed.
As the glasses were removed, Qabilah blinked – and then she saw Faatina sitting in a chair, a rolled up black scarf tied between her teeth.
“Lalleee – shssbhndths.”
Kaamla and Kadifa
“I wonder where she has got to, Kadifa?”
“Leila? Probably just running late,” Kadifa said as she looked at her sister, the two of them standing in front of the store. Kaamla was the older of the two, and was wearing a blue hijab, the bottom over the top of her cream coloured patterned top. That sat on top of a white blouse, with a pair of faded jeans and grey trainers. By contrast, Kadifa was wearing a long sleeved white blouse over a pair of jeans, the legs of which were tucked into short brown leather boots.
“Look, we can’t wait any longer,” she finally said, “let’s go in and have a look round. When she gets here, she can text one of us.”
“Agreed,” Kaamla said as they went in, looking round the racks of clothing and selecting a few items. Eventually, they made their way over to the changing rooms.
“How many items,” the smartly dressed man at the entrance to the changing area said.
“Three for me,” Kaamla said, the man nodding as he handed her a token and said “room three please. Room four for you, Madame.”
“Thank you,” Kadifa said as she and her sister made her way down to the changing rooms, nodding to each other as they went in, and locked the doors. She took her two garments and hung them on a hook on the back of the door, then looked at herself in the mirror on the wall.
“Girl, you need a day at the spa,” she said to herself – and then gasped as the rear wall of the room opened, and a man with a scarf tied over the lower half of his face emerged. Before she could get a chance to speak, he grabbed her around her waist with one arm, and pressed a gloved hand over her mouth – which, to her horror, she realised had a strip of sticking plaster in the palm of his gloved hand.
A strip of plaster which was now pressed firmly over her lips, sealing her mouth as he pulled her wrists behind her back, and used a length of thin cord to bind her wrists tightly together. She was then pushed through the all – only to give a muffled gasp as she saw her sister next to her, also with her arms behind her back and a strip of brown sticking plaster over her mouth.
“Whttsgnnnn,” Kaamla said, but the two masked men said nothing, instead leading them down a corridor and into the boot of a waiting car. Making them both sit down, they watched as their ankles were secured, before they were made to lie in the boot of the car, facing each other as the door was closed. They could only look at each other as the car moved off…
As they were carried into the room, both women were surprised to see the other two captives sitting there, watching as they were sat against a wall.
“Needdeewhtsgnnn,” Kaamla said as she looked at Qabilah, but the only response she got was a shake of the head as the door was closed.
Walking along the pathway in the park, the young woman smiled as she looked round through her dark glasses. It was a bit chilly, but the large patterned shawl she had wrapped round her neck and shoulders was keeping the worst of the chill out.
The long sleeved black jumper, and the dark pants with the legs tucked into her knee length two-tone brown leather boots, also kept her warm, while her modesty was preserved by the olive coloured scarf over her hair and neck.
As she walked along, she saw one man feeding the birds on the lake and stopped to watch. It was a peaceful moment – and given she had a party to go to later, one she suspected would be a bit louder, and so she appreciated the time out.
She turned and smiled as she saw a casually dressed man standing next to her. “Hello,” she said in reply before turning to look at the man again.
“I’ve got a message from Leila for you.”
Ubah turned and looked at the man and said “I beg your pardon?”
“I have a message from Leila for you,” he said with a smile as he looked at the young woman. “Would you like to hear it?”
“Well, I’m intrigued,” Ubah said quietly, “what is it?”
“Come with me – I’m to take you to her.”
“I don’t normally go off with men I have only just met.”
“I understand – if it helps, you don’t have a choice.” She glanced down at what looked like a gun under the coat over his arm, and nodded as she said “very well then – where are we going?”
“If you will come with me – and please, no attracting attention to us. Leila would not like that to happen.”
Ubah nodded as they walked along the path to where a black cab, with darkened windows, was waiting. “So where is Leila,” she said as the man opened the door.
“Waiting for you – get in, and put your hands together in front of yourself, as if you are in prayer.”
Nodding, Ubah watched as the man took a length of cord from his pocket, and secured her wrists together, the rope going around and between her arms. He then used a second length of cord to secure her ankles together, before using a third length to secure the two bands together.
“now then,” he said as he reached to the floor, picked up a black long scarf, and pulled it tight in his hands, “open your mouth please.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Leila will explain,” he said before he pulled the scarf between her lips, wrapping it round her head and securing the ends at the base of her neck, before strapping her in and closing the door. she watched as he walked to the front of the car and got in, and then drove off…
The other four called out as Ubah was carried in, and sat down on the floor, her eyes wide as she looked at the other four. The man smiled as he looked at the five women, and then left, closing the door behind himself.
Ubah looked round the room at the other four captives, and then bent her legs, moving her head down close to her mouth and easing the scarf out from between her lips.
“Were you all brought here as well,” she said as she looked round, the other four nodding?
They all shook their heads as she said “have you tried to get free?”
As they all shook their heads, she bent her head forward again and started to pick at the knots with her teeth, the others watching as she freed her wrists, and then untied her ankles. Walking over to Qabilah, she peeled the plaster away from her mouth.
“Thank you,” she gasped as she watched Ubah walk behind her, and the felt the cord slackening as it was removed from her wrists. She reached down and started to untie her ankles as Ubah walked over to Faatina, and started to untie her from the chair.
“I’ll free the twins,” Qabilah said as she stood up and walked behind Kaamla and Kaadifa. As all five girls stood up, they heard a voice say “hello girls.”
“Leila? Where are you?”
“I first want to apologise if you were upset or frightened by my invitation – but I get the feeling you were also secretly surprised by the event. Am I wrong?”
The five girls looked at each other, blushing as they all nodded.
“Good – girls, I want you to join me for a very special birthday party. The door’s open – you’ll find me in the next room.”
Ubah walked to the door and opened it, walking into the corridor as the others followed, and they walked into the next room, Kaadifa gasping as she said “what the…”
Leila looked at them over the band of black veterinary wrap which encircled her head, covering the black scarf that acted as her hijab, the red scarf loosely wrapped round her neck under it. The young woman was wearing a long sleeved light grey top, black cargo pants and knee length black fabric boots – but there were also bands of white rope holding her chest to the char back, her bound ankles to the front leg of the chair, her legs together below her knees, and her arms were around the chair back.
“As you can see,” Leila said over the speaker, “I’ve been in the same position as you – and I enjoy it. Given you also enjoy it as well – want to join me? If not, untie me, and we’ll go to a restaurant.
“But if you do – there are supplies in the boxes at the side of the room. Want to join me?”
The six girls looked at each other as Leila watched, before Kaamla said to her sister “if I tie you up, will you tie me up afterwards?”
She nodded as the group went over, Leila smiling under the gag…