Paying for the Vacation
Monday 26th August
Manchester Beach, Manchester MA
It had been a great summer, Heather loved that her employer Sandy Richmond’s family had owned this wonderful old house in Manchester on what Bostonians called the North Shore for four generations. It was her second summer bringing the children to what Sandy dismissed as “that old barn on Masconomo St.”
For the children though, it was the magic house, so unlike their home on Fifth Avenue in New York. Here they could ride their bikes, go swimming at the beach, go sailing. Really it was an absolutely wonderful place to retreat from Manhattan’s mid-summer heat waves.
Having her sister Joanne to help care for George and Little Sandy had been wonderful. The kids adored Joanne, and Joanne was perfect with them. They’d seen a lot of Carina and Abby as well. Carina had taken advantage of her newly acquired driver’s license and driven over from her mom’s summer place in Beverley most days.
Sandy, Abigail’s mother Diana, and Carina’s mom Juliette had managed to get away from their work in the city quite a bit, but still the vacation had been mainly for the young people.
Heather had spent an hour brushing sand out of the second-hand Ford Expedition she bought from her wages. It had a few miles on the clock, but on a Nanny’s salary it was all she could afford. Still it was ideal for a summer vehicle, everybody could pile into it, all the games and sports equipment, drying swimming costumes, etc.
Over her shoulder she could hear Carina and Abby giving the skinny to Joanne on St Angela’s Academy their school back in the city.
School re-started next week and Joanne would be entering as a junior. Carina was going back for her senior year, and Abigail was going to be a Soph. The next few days... The next few days would be a blur of getting ready for school, new uniforms, supplies, new shoes, Sandy cringed at the thought of the expense her boss was taking on putting her sister through a private school. On her salary there was no way Heather could have met the expense.
Oh and on top of the chaos of the next few days, there was also a bit of business to be done up here on the North Shore.
Heather turned and sat for a moment, watching the girls as they chattered, and letting her mind go back two weeks...
Friday 16th August
The Richmond Summer Home, Manchester, MA
Heather looked at Sandy as she sat at the table, looking at a gold embossed card in her hand.
“I swear, one of these days I’m going to visit George and the conniving little bitch, and then...”
Sandy threw the card across the table to Heather, who picked it up and read the invitation.
Mister and Mrs Anthony Gardiner invite Miss Alexandra Richmond to attend a gala gem auction in aid of the New York Fire-fighters Benevolent Fund
“Gardiner isn’t that Allison’s maiden name?”
“Her parents,” Sandy said as she got up and looked out of the window. “But you can bet my last dollar George and Allison are behind this. It’s the day before the kids have to come home as well.”
“Well – we could delay that a day if you wanted to attend...”
“I don’t want to attend – I have to.” Sandy crumpled the envelope the invitation had come in and started to breath slowly. “The charity is one I am on the board of directors on, so it’s not an option.”
“Gem auction – interesting.”
Sandy stood still for a moment, and then looked at her nanny and lover. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Heather nodded slowly. “I think I am – when are Diana and the others getting here?”
“They’re coming for dinner tonight – we can talk about it then.”
Friday 16th August
The Richmond Summer Home, Manchester, MA 8.30 p.m.
“Interesting,” Juliette said as she sat back and looked at Sandy. “What sort of thing would you normally expect to see at these events.?"
“Usually a few invited…rich…guests,” Sandy said as she sipped her coffee. Heather and Joanne had gone to put the kids to bed, leaving the others, the grown-ups as Diana always said, with Abigail and Carina to talk. “But they come loaded for bear – dressed up, jewels hanging all over, all that sort of things. The Gardiners are new money as well – no refinement or decorum.”
Diana snorted as she heard that. “It would be a pleasure to teach them some manners,” she said as she glanced round the table, “a very great pleasure.”
“I have to admit, it is tempting,” Juliette said as she looked around the table again. As Carina looked at her mother, she could see the decision-making process at work – Juliette had her eyes closed, and was thinking of initial options.
“I’m going to need maps,” she eventually said, “and as much information as you can get me about the Gardiner mansion Sandy. We’re also going to need somewhere to act as a starting point – discrete, and out of the way.”
“Let us do a scout of the realtors,” Abigail said, “see if there is an empty farm somewhere between here and Beverley.”
Juliette nodded, and then said, “We have two weeks – not a lot of time, but enough. It is fortunate we were fitted for new outfits last month – it will give us a chance to try them out.”
“So when do we meet to consider?”
“It is Thursday today,” Juliette said as she sat back, “When will your mother collect George and Sandy?”
“A week tomorrow,” Sandy said.
“All right – we meet at my place on Friday night. And come prepared.”
Tuesday 20th August
The Essex County Registry of Deeds lies on the shoreline in Salem, at the end of Lynch Street. A low single storey building in white, it doesn’t exactly add to the charm and grace of the town, but as Heather drove up in the night to the building it was not so that she and Joanne could look at the view.
“All right,” she said as she pulled a pair of leather gloves on her hands, “We get in, we find the plans, we get out. Simple and quick, agreed?”
“Agreed,” Joanne said as she stepped out of the car, and zipped up her black leather jacket. Both women wear wearing jeans as well as the jackets, Timberland boots and a woollen hat on their heads. They made their way round the fence, and walked around the building to the main door.
“What do you think?” Heather said as Joanne looked at the doorway. Her answer came as she slipped a metal blade between the doors, and slowly opened it in.
“They need to do more about security,” she said as the two women pulled down the brims of their hats, covering their heads and leaving only their eyes and mouths showing. They wore no makeup, and had bulked their jumpers under their jackets to look more masculine.
“22A,” Joanne said as they made their way down the corridor. The office was not difficult to find, as Heather forced the door and they made their way in.
“Let’s see, let’s see,” Heather whispered as she opened the filing cabinets, “G... G.... Grace... Gordon... Ah here we are – Gardiner.”
She took out a file; the flashlight balanced in her teeth, and laid it on a table, checking the contents while Joanne kept watch at the door.
“Yeah, this is...” she glanced at Joanne, who was motioning down with her hands, and killed the flashlight, crouching behind the table as Joanne hid by the door.
“Who’s in here,” a male voice said as the two women watched the door handle slowly turn, a light flashing on the outside. As it opened inwards, Joanne slowly opened her jacket a little, and brought out the nightstick she had in her inside pocket.
The uniformed guard looked as if he was in his forties, and his best days were behind him – the paunch from too many doughnuts over his trousers testifying to that. He shone the torch straight ahead, and then stepped in, turning away from Joanne as he pointed the torch to the far side of the building.
“I know there’s someone in here, come on AAARGHHHHH!” The nightstick Joanne brought hard against the back of his knees made him drop to the ground, the torch rattling as it fell as well. Joanne followed up with a blow to his back, while Heather produced her own weapon and brought it down on his stomach.
The guard crumpled into a ball, rolling on the floor as the two women kicked him in the stomach and sides. “Let’s go,” Heather said in a low voice as she grabbed the files, and the two women ran out, leaving the guard groaning as he reached for his radio...
The week passed in a blur of activity, as further information was sought and plans laid. Sandy had taken the opportunity to reply personally to the invitation, giving her a chance to check the route from Manchester to the North Shore, but there was still the small problem that she would not be able to drive them in and out.
Still, she was sure Diana could handle that.
Diana had sort of become Joanne’s godmother over the summer. Joanne had spent the odd day with Diana out in the wilds during the summer. Diana was teaching her about weapons. With tuition Joanne had become a good shot and she’d learned all about the devastating impact of weapons like a sawn-off shotgun.
Accuracy was not a total requisite in the close-up situations you found yourself in during robberies, but it was Juliette’s opinion that if Joanne learned the discipline of target shooting it might teach her some self-discipline.
It certainly had seemed to help. Day by day Heather noticed as virtually all signs of her former life as Megan vanished from her new sister. Joanne was far quieter, certainly better mannered, and though still a bright girl, far less self-indulgent.
Her manner of dress had become more restrained, she wore far less makeup on a normal day, and no longer did she live for the thrill of tempting men sexually. In so many ways, she was becoming the perfect young girl she needed to be – in public at least.
She looked at her now as she strapped the kids into her mother’s jeep, and waved them off. Sandy’s mother was thankful for the role Heather played in the lives of her grandchildren, and had grown fond of Joanne. It was just as well she did not know the true nature of their relationship, however – Irish Catholic tended not to be accepting of such things.
“All gone,” Joanne said as she came in. “Up for a swim before we have to go to Juliette’s place?”
“Not just now” Heather said with a smile. “The girls are staying here over the weekend, so we can go on Sunday.”
Friday 23rdh August
Riverside Road, Beverley – the Huntingwood residence.
The evening meal over, they all sat round the big circular dining table. Juliette kept glancing down at the papers in front of her, then closing her eyes, looking at her plans again, closing her eyes.
Sandy whispered in Heather’s ear. “It’s like watching a computer work.”
Suddenly, abruptly, Juliette interrupted what she was doing. “I can’t possibly see a way we can do it without all seven of us. Fifty or so guests, staff, security, we need every one of us.” She stood up and shook herself to release the tension in her muscle. “Oh and I heard that computer crack Sandy.”
Each woman laughed, a bit nervously but at least it was a laugh at Juliette’s little joke.
“Is there no way you can wriggle out of going lover?” Heather asked looking directly into Sandy’s face.
“No. That bitch Allison has designed this to humiliate me. She knows that I’m on the board of the charity. No way I can avoid going, and having to watch her playing lovey-dovey with George, and gloating in my direction.”
“We need us all.” Juliette glanced down again at her calculations.
“And it’s not likely a recruit is going to fall into our hands again.” Diana looked at Joanne, “we are never going to be that lucky again.”
“I hate that word.” Juliette said slowly.
“Okay I’ll bite, what word?” asked Carina, after each woman had sat bemused for a few seconds.
“Luck,” explained her mother. “It’s a variable, it’s uncontrollable, and it’s too random.”
The room fell silent for a good minute.
“Well is there any way at all that Sandy can be both guest and gate crasher at this party?” Abby piped up.
“She’d have to be a quick change artist. And I can testify she takes ages to undress and get dressed,” giggled Heather.
“Oh?” the others asked collectively as Sandy blushed to a charming shade.
“Concentrate ladies.” Juliette called the meeting back to order.
“Hold on,” suddenly Sandy sat forward at attention. “Maybe there is a way.”
“You know that far to full gown I bought in the spring.”
“Yes but what’s that got to do with this?”
“It’s big enough for me to wear most of my Pussycat outfit on underneath. It’ll be heavy as hell, but all I’ll need do is slip on my jacket scarf, gloves and mask, and even I can do that quickly. I’d just have to slip away somehow and find you, then dress on again as you leave and I’m one of the poor robbed party-goers.”
Juliette closed her eyes in thought again, and then they saw a smile spreading over her face. “Yes,” she said quietly, “with careful preparation, that might work. In fact, get the timing right, and you can slip out and let us in – having taken care of the butler, of course.”
“No – he lets you in, but I provide the back up.”
“I’ll decide what we do,” Juliette said as she looked at Sandy, “but I take your point. Let’s consider this. The auction will start at nine, correct?”
“Canapés at eight, auction at nine.”
“Very well then – base of operations for the rest of us?”
“There’s a vacant farmhouse two miles from the mansion, here,” Abby said as she pointed on the map. “Should be easy enough to get access to. If the feds look there, it’s like any other gang used the opportunity.”
“Good,” Juliette said, “Diana, you need to scout routes to and fro.”
Looking at the map, Juliette traced the road leading to the mansion.
"The good news - only one way in and out, so we can control our entrance and exit."
"It also means they don't take security very seriously," Sandy said, "Her mom and dad think they are untouchable, so apart from the gatehouse and the CCTV, nothing."
I can deal with," Joanne said with a smile, "Show me where the
control room is and they will all be watching iCarly instead."
“Tech was one of Megan’s better subjects,” Joanne said with a shy smile.
“Well, that will be your first priority. We secure the entrance and exit, gain access to the house, disable security by nine – and then rob the fucking bitches. Our biggest problem once we are inside is crowd control.” Juliette stated seriously.
“We’ve never tried to control this many people before.” Diana added.
“How many guests are they expecting again Sandy?” asked Juliette.
“About 50. Then there are staff and security.” Sandy looked worried.
“We are going to need eyes in the back of our heads to watch that many.” Diana sounded troubled.
“Remember though that we are only after jewellery.” Juliette mused. “So assuming that half the guests are men…”
“We can get them planted face down on the floor, and just have two guards watching them.” Diana looked brighter. “Leaves five of us to rob the women.”
“We still have to get the men doing as we want,” reminded Juliette. “Men in front of their wives get this unusual idea of chivalry and turn brave.”
“Warning shots?” asked Abby.
“Kill someone?” Carina asked almost hopefully.
“Sawn-offs fired over their heads can be pretty intimidating.” Heather chimed in.
“No I think we are going to need more firepower.” Juliette paused. “I know I said at the start we’d not use them, but I think we need a couple of automatic weapons to do man control.”
“Spray a couple of bursts over their heads, that will discourage most people darling,” Diana stated.
“But none of us have ever fired an automatic weapon other than you Diana.” Sandy looked perplexed. “We decided at the start they were too random to use on a job, not surgical enough. None of us have practiced with one.”
“That’s not strictly true.” Diana glanced at Joanne at the end of the table. “While I was out shooting with Jo I took an Uzi along a couple of times. She’s felt the kick of shooting multiple rounds.”
“Would you feel confident with her as your guard partner Diana?” Juliette looked Diana straight in the face.
“Oui, of course I would…Yes” Diana looked proudly down the table.
“Joanne?” asked Juliette. “Are you okay with this?”
At the other side of the table Joanne nodded.
“Okay we better see if The Fish can supply us with a couple of ‘man control weapons’.” Juliette summed up. “Ladies, I need to work out a few trifling details, but I think we can do this. Are we in?”
She looked round the table, seeing each of them nod in unison.
“Abigail, get the keys or get access to that farmhouse tomorrow, and secure it. Joanne, keep training with Diana until using these weapons is second nature to you. Heather, see if you and Carina can find out who is catering the event and how many staff they are sending.”
“What about us?”
“I need to make a call and place a personal – Tommy is going to hate us even more now.”
Wednesday 28th August
Fosters Pond, a farmhouse at the end of Pomeroy Road, near North Reading
“Well, as you can see Miss Olsen, the farmhouse is quiet, and should be perfect for your needs.”
The young male realtor was smiling as she watched Delores Olsen walk round the empty building. She wore a tight white jumper that accentuated her chest and figure, black trousers and knee length black leather boots, the three-inch heels clicking on the flagstones. A grey tweed jacket completed her ensemble. He noted she was wearing black leather gloves; it struck him she hadn’t taken them off once. Frankly he found her gloves to be very sexy.
“Yes indeed,” she said as she turned and looked at him through her dark glasses, “I think my mother...”
“Forgive me – my mother would be very happy with my choice of home. She has long felt I needed somewhere I could both work and relax.”
Miss Olsen had collected him from the office in town, and driven him out to the farmhouse. She had called earlier in the week, and impressed him then, but now she seemed genuinely pleased with the location and the house.
“Has there been much interest in the property,” she said as she looked out of the window, over the lake.
“Not really – it is a little too isolated for most people, but it does seem to have taken your fancy.”
She turned and smiled at him, her red lips parting slightly as she did so. “Oh yes, this could be my crib very easily.”
“I’m sorry, did you just say...”
Miss Olsen smiled and laughed. “Forgive me, my maid seems to be addicted to MTV. Well, I wish to rent the property, with immediate effect.”
“Is that a problem?”
“No, no – just let me go and get the paperwork, and I need three months in advance.”
“Will cash do – I wish to move in today, and soak up the atmosphere.”
“Offffff Of course,” the young man said, leaving her alone as he returned to the car. Delores turned and smiled out of the window, one thing on her mind.
He was a really stupid bastard.
The drive back to the house off Riverview Road was a pleasant one, as Delores pulled in outside the Huntingdown house and stepped out. Walking to the door, as soon as she entered she was greeted with “Well?”
“Here,” Abigail said as she tossed the keys over to her mother, “Guaranteed privacy.”
“Not a one, at least that’s one advantage I’ve got from my life, at least I can already drive a car, under age or not.” She caught her mother’s worried glance. “And no I didn’t get pulled over for speeding. I didn’t need show my fake driving licence.”
“Good,” she said quietly, “Now you can go and remove that makeup.”
“Mother – why won’t you let me wear make up to school or anywhere? It’s bad enough being so thin, but...”
“Abigail,” Diana said as she stared at her daughter, “I forbid it for the very purpose that you have to be comfortable as you are. If you are, then your power over everyone only increases when you make yourself look different with makeup.”
“But MOM – I don’t get the boys, I stick out like a sore thumb...I’m the butt of half the schools jokes” Abby paused. “That realtor today I noticed kept dropping behind me and I swear he was admiring the view. And I even attracted a wolf whistle…ME…The Stick…I got wolf whistled!”
“And your point is darling?”
“I get dressed up guys notice me.”
“And do you want to be noticed?”
“YES!”…Abigail looked to the heavens. “You don’t know what it’s like. I am a big, tall, clumsy, social ZERO!”
“Of course you aren’t, you are my daughter, and you are Carina’s best friend…”
“But I never get invited out anywhere!”
“Nonsense, you are always going for coffee with Carina and her friends.”
“Exactly! Carina invites me, no one else does…I’m the tag along, no one really wants me there, I’m tolerated…No more.”
"I'm sure you exaggerate darling."
“Do you know no man, no boy has ever looked at me and seen something desirable?”
“Precisely,” Diana said with a smile. “So that, when you meet the right man, he loves you for who you are, not for how you look. I know it is hard, but trust me – mother knows best. Now go and change – Heather and the girls are coming to take you to the beach.”
4pm, Masconomo Street
“We have a buyer for the bling?” asked Sandy.
“Yeah a guy in India I once met.” Juliette giggled inwardly. “Met him on a photo shoot in Delhi years ago, he intrigued me…he thought he was a ladies man…sigh…he got nowhere with me, but another girl on the shoot fell for him, he got her to smuggle some uncut diamonds into the States. Stupid bitch was in love, customs caught her and she refused to give him up to the feds. She ended up doing 10 years.”
“But I kept him filed in my memory banks.”
“That computer inside your head?” Sandy teased.
“Really! That joke is getting old.”
“Yep but it’s still funny.”
“Anyway.” Juliette threw Sandy a contemptuous glance, “when we got the idea for a gem heist I contacted him anonymously.”
“Even in India he’s heard of the Pussycats.”
“Ah the price of fame…”
“And,” Juliette interrupted he has a man at the Indian Consulate in New York. “They’ll give us 50 cents on the dollar, he gets the stuff out via the diplomatic pouch.”
“And we get paid how?”
“A cash exchange three days after the heist. Deserted office down town.”
“Can we trust them?”
“No, but I think our reputation will ensure we don’t get cheated.”
“Okay then,” Sandy glanced at her watch. “Got time for coffee?”
“I think so,” Juliette glanced at the clock. “Not instant though I hope?”
5 pm, Manchester Beach.
Heather and the girls pulled off their swimming caps and shook their hair out. One last swim before heading for home had not been quite as much fun as they’d hoped. The Atlantic Ocean was beginning to turn decidedly cool. Fall was definitely on the way.
Abby cast her eyes round with a touch of jealousy. “It’s not fair she moaned, all summer and still nothing much to fill my bikini top with.”
Carina shook herself deliberately to display her fully rounded titties.
“Bitch,” Abby spat out.
Heather and Joanne started to split their sides with laughter.
“It’s alright for you two as well,” Amy half wailed, “I bet no one ever called you ‘The Stick’.”
“Poor Abs,” Joanne managed to blurt out between giggles. “Maybe you need wear ‘The Thing’ all the time?”
Abigail sunk to the sand and contemplated her bust line. “You know Mother Nature is so unfair.”
“I know,” Carina sat down and hugged her best friend.
“You know you can always buy yourself a boob job Abs,” Joanne sat down on Abby’s other side and hugged her as well.
“With what,” Abby looked up. “Oh no Jo,” she whispered, “you know none of us can touch our ‘trust funds’.”
“Group hug,” Heather yelled and all the girls kneeled on the sand and hugged. When all four heads were close, she hissed in a whisper, “Joanne you know better…money is one subject we NEVER talk about!"
“Sorry,” Joanne said nervously, “I just...”
“It’s all right – just watch what you’re doing,” Heather said as they stood up and grabbed a towel each. “We’d better head back – the new outfits should have arrived by now, and your mother Carina will be talking business.”
Suddenly the sound of Ozzy Osbourne screaming his lungs out broke the moment.
“Whoops my phone,” Carina dived for her beach bag. “Hello,” she said as she flipped the device open.
“Black Sabbath as a ring tone?” Heather asked out loud, and then shrugged her shoulders. “Seems logical I suppose.”
Carina stuck her tongue out at the nanny as she answered the call, murmuring “Yes” or “maybe”, or “I’ll have to ask my Mom,” to whoever was on the other end.
“Carina, we need go,” Heather tapped her watch to remind the younger girl they had an appointment.
“Okay gotta go.” Carina hurriedly finished her call. “Invite to Andrea van Ollen’s Sweet Sixteen in the clubhouse at Tuxedo next month.”
Abby reached into her bag and got her own device out. She flipped a few buttons as they strode up the beach towards Heather’s car. “Nope no invite for me.”
Carina suddenly looked embarrassed. “I could ask?”
“No it’s damn obvious she doesn’t want a ‘Stick’ there.” Abigail huffed and sulked as she threw her backpack onto the back seat,
Thursday 29th August, Newbery Turnpike, near Manchester
Tommy the Fish was not a happy man. He’d had to drive all this distance, crossing three state lines. “Who knew what the cops might pull you over for on the highway?” he thought to himself as he stopped at the side of the road, checked his map and then turned round. He saw the dirt track on the second attempt, and turned in.
If it was for anyone else he’d have turned them down flat, but these customers you didn’t turn down, well you didn’t turn them down and live very long. He pitied the poor bastards they were going to rob shortly. Another cold shiver possessed the Fish, in many ways he hated hearing from these broads, yeah they paid top dollar, but he always knew within a few days he’d reading about some huge robbery with a big body count.
The warehouse was right where he was told it would be, and as he drove in he saw the gates shutting behind him. The Fish shook his head, “just remember its only business,” he told himself. “No matter to you what those psycho bitches do with the guns once they’ve bought them.”
Stopping the van, he got out and stood, rubbing his little finger as he did so.
“Good afternoon, Tommy.”
There they were, standing behind him as he wheeled round. Anyone else dressed the way they were, and he would have let out a low whistle, but not these two. Their fitted jackets and skirts hugged their bodies, the bright red visible even in the gloom of the building, while the high heels of their red shoes clicked on the concrete. As always, they wore scarves around their neck – the one who had spoken sporting a red and gold pattern under her jacket, the other showing bright yellow around her neck.
And then there were the brooches – the ones shaped like cats.
“I’m here,” he said as he looked at them, “As you asked. Wasn’t easy to get what you wanted, but you won’t be disappointed.”
“No, I know we won’t be,” Miss Panther said in her smooth tongue. “I wanted to thank you for your supplies earlier this year – they proved to be most useful.”
“Yeah well – I read about it in the papers. The wife and maid?”
“They proved – uncooperative,” the other woman said as she walked round Tommy, her eyes staring at him through the nylon stocking that covered her head. “Would you have us stand for insubordination?”
“No, of course not ladies,” Tommy said as he looked down, “but that poor bitch at the bank itself...”
“Should not have tried to run.”
“And be honest with me lady. Didya have to kill the kid as well?”
“That a question you really want an answer to Tommy?”
“Not really but some friends of mine were made VERY unhappy by what you did. The cops and the feds had a full-court press on for weeks. Let me tell ya, it was not good for business, even the big boys felt the heat.”
“Well I’d give them my apologies personally Tommy,” Miss Panther almost purred, her voice so slow and smooth. “But I’m not sure your friends knowing who we are would be particularly good for OUR business.”
“Yeah – yeah I get that,” Tommy said as he looked at her. “The door’s unlocked – no tricks.”
“Is something else bothering you, Tommy? You seem nervous.”
“That’s a nudder reason I aint too happy lady - this aint really my territory. Those Boston Micks can get a bit crazy if a New Yorker comes into town to take business out from under their noses.”
“Well I don’t know any of these Boston Micks as you call them Tommy, and really up here on the North Shore isn’t Boston at all.”
“Yeah,” the Fish shuffled his feet. “You try telling them that.”
Miss Panther laughed a silky laugh. “You know worrying like that you are going to die from an ulcer long before you get whacked Tommy.”
“I should live so long – but I did not want to show you disrespect, and I apologise for my outburst.” He said this because of the glint of steel he had caught in Miss Panther’s eye, and he knew he was close to the line.
“Apologies accepted,” she purred as her partner looked in the bags. “Is everything to your satisfaction in the special order?”
The other woman looked at Tommy, and smiled. “Exactly as you stipulated, Miss Panther.” She lifted the bags out from the van, and carried them to a waiting car, returning with a small canvas bag.
“You will find additional compensation for your time, Tommy – thank you.”
Taking the bag, Tommy hurried to the van, driving off as fast as he could.
“Nice guy,” Diana said as she watched him live, “really talkative.”
“Well, he’s right in one respect,” Juliette said as she removed her mask, “we are in foreign territory. Let’s head to the rendezvous – Abby confirmed it was secure.”
Friday 30th August
10 am, the base
The seven women sat round the table, the panoramic view over the lake behind them as Juliette stood at the head.
“Now remember gloves on at all times in this place. We leave no prints?” Juliette scanned heads. “If the feds find this place there’s no latent prints…Right?”
“Yep!” Carina waved her gloved hands in her mother’s direction.
“Right,” she said as she put her mug down, “Let’s go over this again…Sandy?”
“I go home once we’re done here, with Heather, change, and head to the party to arrive for 8 pm.”
“I drop Sandy off, then come back here and change with you all.”
“Good – we move out at 8 pm, and go to the gatehouse, timing our arrival for 8.45.” Juliette traced the route on the map, through the tree-lined roads and towards the promontory that the house stood on just south of Manchester. “At the gate house?”
“I get out,” Carina said, “with Abby and we secure the guard, make sure he cannot raise the alarm in any way.” A smile crossed her face as she said that.
“Good, we then drive up to the main house.” Juliette traced on the large-scale map to the road that ran in front. “We arrive at 8.55…Sandy?”
“I’ve made my excuses by this point, as everyone gathers in the ball room.” She moved a floor plan of the Gardiner mansion over and pointed to the hallway. “Security is based in this room here. Normally, one security guard and the gatehouse is unmanned, but the other way round tonight.”
“So we ring the doorbell, the butler answers...”
“And I down him,” Abby said as she sipped her coke, “while Joanne heads for the security room to disable the alarms. Sandy, you’ll be waiting inside, and Joanne will hand you the rest of your outfit…Catering?”
“Staff will be going to and from the kitchen by a connecting door,” Carina said quietly, “so Abby and I will head for the kitchen, and herd them into the ball room, while the rest of you line up at the entrance for 9.10.”
“Then we move in – you two with the staff from the kitchen, us five from the main entrance. We work quickly; we work cleanly – separate the men from the women, and leave Diana and Joanne to deal with them. Heather, Sandy, Abby, you rob the women – I want everything off them. Carina and I will deal with the gems.”
The women nodded as Juliette said, “I want to spend no more than thirty minutes there, and then we move out. Heather, you will leave a few moments earlier, with Sandy, and then drag her back in. Say you found her hiding.”
Sandy and Heather nodded, as Juliette looked at the others. “Transport?”
“Got a nice Dodge Caravan in the back – clean and plates changed.”
“Excellent,” Juliette said as she looked out of the window. “Now all we need is...” Her brow furrowed as she looked at the sky. “Does anyone know the forecast for today?”
“No,” Heather said, “but there is a television room on the second floor. Why?”
“There’s a storm coming – everyone wait while I check it out.”
The others watched as Juliette left the room, Carina kicking her legs out in frustration.
Turning on the television, Juliette moved through the channels until she heard “and here’s Harvey with the weather for tonight. Looks like a bad one, Harv.”
She listened intently as Harvey Leonard on WCVB explained to viewers the likely track of the incoming storm. Juliette’s brow furrowed, the weather was one variable she couldn’t control, and the prospect of power outages and falling trees introduced an element of risk she hadn’t calculated.
It wasn’t as like she could ring up and ask them to postpone the affair because of the storm. The party was going ahead tonight. This was their only window of opportunity.
For a few moments she packed up and down doing calculations in her head. Everything was set, the buyers from India were expecting a shipment of bling delivered in New York tomorrow. They’d not be happy if she let them down.
The girls were ready and primed; she knew that a summer without action was beginning to wear on their psyches. It wasn’t like she’d discovered Carina torturing the neighbors cat, but she was seeing little subtle signs suggesting her daughter needed to release the beast within again.
“Okay we go,” she spoke to herself.
“It’s a go,” she yelled downstairs, ”we just need watch out for a few unpredictable things, weather guy says the storm will cause some damage, so just stay alert.”
“Then we’re out of here,” Sandy called up. “Good luck, and I will see you all later.”
6.30 pm, Masconomo Street
“GODAMMIT!!! I am going to bake in this! I swear to God, this might be the night...”
Heather stood in the doorway to see Sandy standing in the room, looking at herself in the mirror. Her body was encased in a tight red dress, with short cap sleeves and a square collar that hugged her like a second skin. She turned round, looking at herself, and motioned as if she was shooting a gun as she whispered, “Die, you husband stealing hellbitch...”
“What, can’t a girl dream?” Sandy looked at her, with pure venom in her eyes.
“For fucks sake restrain yourself lover,” Heather pleaded with Sandy. “This is not the opportunity to settle scores with George and Allison.”
“What are you going on about darling?”
“I’ve heard you in your sleep talking.”
“You’ve been dreaming dreams for days where you are blowing them both away.” Heather paused, “it’s not worth it. If they die tonight you suddenly become related to a Pussycat killing. We agreed. No one gets whacked who can possibly create a lead for the feds towards us.”
Heather put her arms round her girlfriend. “Darling I know they hurt you, badly, but this is about more than just you and them.”
“Lover,” Sandy said as she sat down, “did I ever tell you I had a miscarriage?”
“Oh my Goddess…No you never did…When?”
“A year before we met.” Sandy looked up into her girlfriends’ eyes
“Before your divorce?”
“Oh darling I’m just so sorry.”
“I thought we were the perfect couple. Wife, husband, two kids, another on the way.”
“And then you found out about Allison?”
“Yes then I found out he’d been seeing her behind my back for nearly two years.” Sandy sobbed. “Two fucking years, when he’d been laying in my bed telling me how much he loved me. Two fucking years, when the banking crisis was causing him to work such huge long days. Two fucking years while that bitch worked her charms on him at the fucking bank.” She started crying.
“Assistant International clients manager. That was her damn title. Fucking cheap whore was more like it.”
“How did you find out about her?” Heather asked quietly and gently.
“How does the wife always find out? One of my so called friends blurted it out.” Sandy suddenly giggled. “You might remember her she was the bitch I told everyone insulted me.”
“Oh Goddess…Our first job…you were getting revenge?”
“Yes,” a very self-satisfied smirk came over Sandy’s face. “That bitch learned her lesson about getting on my bad side the hard way.”
Heather winced as she recollected the woman’s death which suddenly now made sense.
“But the miscarriage?”
“Two days after she told me.” Sandy’s voice was suddenly blank and emotionless. “I started bleeding as I was showing a customer some sketches. When she left I ran to the bathroom. I was in such pain."
“I called 911 and the paramedics took 35 minutes to get through the traffic. It was the day of the big demonstration on the streets.”
Heather cuddled her lover close.
“Anyway by the time they got me to the hospital it was too late. I lost the babies.”
“Yes they were twins, two little girls who lost their chance of life because my husband couldn’t keep his pants zipped up, and some stupid bitch couldn’t keep her fucking mouth shut.”
“Oh Artemis Goddess of Lesbos!” Heather exclaimed her ultimate shout of anger and surprise. “No wonder you were in such a state when you hired me.”
“That was my first bit of luck in a long while.” Alexandra kissed her lovers lips. “At my darkest moment the goddess brought me the gift of you.”
“But you never let on…Why wait till now to tell me?”
“Because I want you to know why I might do something stupid like you implied.”
"Killing George and Allison.”
“Darling there is a rage inside me. I’ll never be able to not think of losing the babies.”
Heather gently kissed her.
“Just be good. Be my lover. Be my friend. Stop me blowing all we have together. Just keep me out of trouble…Promise?”
“Promise it on the blood of those girls and The Goddess.”
“I swear it so.” Heather paused. “Thank you Sandy.” She nuzzled her lover.
“For telling me this…I’ll protect you from being stupid.”
“I love you so much Alexandra Richmond.”
"I love you Heather Smith."
They kissed each other tenderly before Heather stood up. “Now, I will have your scarf, jacket and mask when we arrive. What about gloves?”
“I’ll have them on,” Sandy said as she showed Heather the short red leather gloves, and the red opera gloves she would be wearing on top of them. She then looked at the red ball gown, with the square collar and the skirt that flowed down to the floor.
“Remind me not to let anyone see my shoes,” she said as she sat down and strapped on the three-inch stiletto red pumps. “I’ll lose them in the struggle when you find me.”
Heather nodded as she watched her lover dress, and the wind started to blow up outside...
7.30 pm, the base.
“Are we all ready?”
Juliette looked at the five women standing in front of her, each one wearing the same red dress as Sandy, red killer heels and stockings. As always, each of them had added a scarf this time with a shade of red on each one even if they were tied in different ways. The younger girls had gone for the scarf tied at the side, while Heather and Diana had theirs tied as cravats. Juliette had hers folded and loosely knotted in front. They all had their black wigs on, and their red leather gloves, as well as their signature jewellery.
“Glasses on ladies,” Juliette said as she opened the door, “Let’s go to work.”
The Gardiner Mansion, South Manchester, 8,15 pm.
“Sandy, darling, how lovely to see you!”
Sandy smiled her sweetest smile and kissed Allison on both cheeks as she held her shoulders. “It’s my pleasure to be here,” she said as she kissed George as well, “even with the storm approaching. You both look well.”
Allison was wearing a gold silk gown, held up by thin straps as the front fell in soft waves over her chest, and a pair of gold-strapped sandals. George and his father in law were in tuxedos and bow ties, the silk cummerbunds around their waists, while Allison’s mother was wearing a grey silk dress and matching jacket. Both the Gardiner women were dripping with gold and jewellery – a fact that had not escaped Sandy, who was wearing a pair of diamond rings and a pearl necklace.
“Come and join the others,” Mrs Gardiner said as she took Sandy’s arm and led her to the ballroom, “I think we are going to have a very successful night.”
“It’s going to get worse,” the guard said to himself as he looked out over the shoreline, the waves crashing onto the sand. “I wish I was inside right now.”
He glanced at his watch – 8.45. “At least nobody else is...” he said to himself as a set of headlights appeared on the road.
security guard saw the headlights approaching the gatehouse. "Late
comers - never fails," he said as he walked out and waved the car down.
"May I see your invitation please," he said as the driver window went down, only to be confronted by a dark haired woman, wearing an expensive jacket with a scarf round her neck, and a sawn off shotgun in her hand pointing at his face.
"Here's my invitation, fuckwad," Miss Puma said as Miss Tigress got out of the car, and pulled his arms behind his back, "Now, be a good little asshole and get on your knees."
“OH shit,” the guard said as Miss Lynx got out from the other side of the car, and said, “She said to get on your knees, bastard. Unless you want to die right now.”
She smiled as he slowly sank to his knees, not resisting as Miss Tigress pulled his used a plastic zip tie to secure his hands behind his back. “Better,” Miss Lynx said as she opened her jacket, took a strip of plaster off the inside, and put it over his mouth.
The guard was unable to say anything as Miss Tigress drew a pistol from her jacket, put it against his forehead and fired a shot straight into his brain. The two women then dragged him into the gatehouse and left him there, opening the gates before they got back into the car and drove up to the house.
The doorbell ringing made the butler look round. “They must be late,” he said as he looked at the waiters and waitresses moving to and fro. “Keep up the good work.”
He made his way slowly to the door, and opened it, saying, “Welcome to...”
“Shut it, asshole,” Miss Panther said as she pushed her way in, the nylon stocking over her head and tucked into the scarf around her neck. His eyes widened as he saw five more women walk in, before the barrel of a sawn-off shotgun came down over his head, knocking him unconscious.
“Move it!” she shouted as Miss Leopard and Miss Cheetah dragged him into a side room. Miss Bobcat made her way to the next-door, opening it and letting herself in.
“Right on time,” Sandy said as she removed her opera gloves, “Give me a hand.” Miss Bobcat helped her to slip her outer dress off, before handing her a bag and turning her attention to the security cameras.
“Everyone else in there?”
“Yup,” Sandy said as she slipped her jacket on, and tied the yellow and red scarf around her neck, and then slipped the stocking over her black wig and head, “ripe for the picking.” She looked at the screens, showing Looney Tunes, and said “Good work – let’s go.”
The two women walked out, Miss Leopard throwing the semi-automatic at Miss Bobcat before Miss Lynx and Miss Cheetah made their way to the kitchen.
“On three,” Miss Panther said quietly as she struggled to contain her excitement. “One... Two... Three.” She pushed the doors open as the gang walked in.
The sound of the Uzi firing in the air
caught everyone's attention, as the guests saw the line of five well dressed
women, carrying guns and wearing stocking
masks, at the main entrance.
"Good evening," one of the women said, "I am Miss Panther, and we are The Pussycat Gang!”
There was an audible gasp from the guests.
is obvious this is a fuckin’ robbery! So let’s keep this nice and simple.
Rich bitch cocksuckers on the left, motherfucking sons of bitches on the right,
and if you can’t decide, well we can make the choice for you.”
There was a sudden thunderclap masking the sound as Miss Cheetah discharged her shotgun into the ceiling of the ballroom. "You heard the lady, you fuckin’ bastards - MOVE!"
“What do you mean...”
The spray of automatic gunfire from Miss Leopard silenced the room. “You were told what to do, you dumb fuckwads,” she called out, “Move your sorry asses or we kill you all right here and now.”
Mister and Mrs Gardiner stood on a dais at the far end of the room, unable to stop the gang as they separated the men from the women. At the same time, a shot came from the kitchen, before the staff were herded in by Miss Lynx and Miss Tigress, and made to split up as the guests were.
“Right then,” Miss Leopard said as she walked down the ballroom. “I want the shitstirring cowards on my right,” she said as she looked at the men, “on the fucking floor, hands behind their heads, and kissing the wood. NOW, YOU FUCKING BASTARDS!”
“You heard the lady, dahlings,” Miss Bobcat said in her rich Louisiana voice as the men dropped to the floor and lay prostrate, “be good little cocks and do as you are told.”
As she walked down the line, one man refused to get down – one of the waiters, who stared at her as she walked in front of him.
“Something I can do for you, sugah,” she said as she stroked his cheek.
“I’m not afraid of you.”
“You should be,” she said sweetly, before bringing her knee into his groin, the shock and pain making him fall over on his back.
“In case any other of you fine gentlemen are getting any ideas about being all macho and brave, just think of this poor boy,” she said as she put her foot between his legs, and drove the heel of her shoe down into his groin, making him scream in pain as the others watched.
“Anyone else feeling brave,” Miss Leopard laughed, as she looked at the men cowering.
“You fine ladies,” Miss Panther said as she turned to the women, “will kindly hand over all your jewellery to Miss Puma, Miss Cheetah and Miss Tigress here…I am sure you will all be willing to give generously.”
“Yeah just think that you are making those donations to charity you were here for. Only difference is the charity has changed, you’re contributing to the Pussycats retirement fund instead.” Miss Cheetah spat out the words gleefully
“All right,” Miss Tigress said as she pumped her shotgun and pointed it at the first woman. “You Cocksucker Number One – strip it off, put it in the bag, and then kneel with your hands behind your head.”
Miss Tigress stood shifting her weight from foot to foot as the woman removed her jewellery slowly. “Earrings too bitch.” For a second she waited, then she prodded her with the gun, quickly the diamond earrings finally entered the bag.
“Just do as you are told, you don’t get hurt dahlins.” Miss Bobcat called out after a brief burst of fire from her Uzi over the prostrate men. “Just do as you are ordered!”
“Next,” Miss Tigress demanded from the woman in the green satin gown, who just looked stunned and bemused, “Your fuckin jewellery Bitch…and now!” Miss Tigress was getting antsy. This was taking too long…”Strip all your fuckin’ bling off bitch!” Still the woman stood there seemingly immobilised. “Fuck this!” Miss Tigress put the shotgun to the woman’s head and pulled the trigger.
For a moment there was stunned silence till a clap of thunder broke the moment.
“And the rest of you will get the same if you don’t co-operate and do as you’re fuckin’ told,” Miss Cheetah screamed at the assembled women. “Your fuckin’ jewels just take them off and drop ‘em in our bags.” Miss Cheetah watched as the tall young Miss Tigress stripped the dead body.
“Now you…Cocksucker Number Three…HAND IT OVER.” Miss Tigress said with definite menace to the woman in the ice blue short gown.
“See we are serious when we say we will kill you.” Miss Panther had to scream to be heard above the thunder. “Don’t do as we fuckin’ say you’ll end up just as dead.”
“Get that you fuckin’ bastards…don’t piss us off!” Miss Bobcat punctuated her comments with a quick spray of automatic gunfire.
“Now for you,” Miss Panther said as she and Miss Lynx made their way to the Gardiners, “I want all those fine gems in this black bag, within five minutes.”
“I beg your pardon, pissant,” Miss Lynx said as she pointed the shotgun at the couple, “What did you just say?”
“I said no,” Mister Gardiner said. “The gems are in this safe, and I will not open it. The money is for charity....”
“Do you want to reconsider that statement?” Miss Panther asked in a slightly amused tone.
From behind Miss Panther she heard. “NO! I will not give you these jewels.”
“I am getting a little fucking tired of hearing that god-awful word,” Miss Panther shouted out testily as she turned her head to see Miss Puma staring at Allison.
“I said hand over the fucking stuff,” Miss Puma screamed at Allison. “Put your jewellery in the bag, or you will regret it.”
“I will not be spoken to in that manner,” Allison said as George looked up, “no matter how good you look, you have no right to steal my things and to threaten me.”
“Allison, darling,” her mother said as she tried to step forward, only for Miss Lynx to stop her, her arm holding her as the shotgun was pressed against her cheek.
“I see,” Miss Puma, said as she smiled under the nylon, and looked at Allison. “Open that pretty little mouth of yours.” When she refused, Miss Puma grabbed her hair and yanked hard, making her scream in pain, then in muffled fright as she placed the barrel of the sawn-off shotgun in her mouth.
“Go on,” Miss Puma said quietly as she drew back the hammer of the gun, “Say no again – please.”
Miss Cheetah stepped in front of Miss Puma and took hold of her arm. “The bitch isn’t worth it,” she said as she saw a damp patch growing on the front of Allison’s dress, “leave her.”
“Leave her,” Miss Cheetah said again, slowly, deliberately as she looked at Miss Puma.
“It’s your lucky night, cocksucker,” Miss Puma said as she removed the gun – and then hit Allison in the stomach with the barrel, making her fall to the floor as Miss Tigress pulled the jewellery from her body.
“Oh my God you fucking bitches…She’s pregnant!” George screamed out.
“Anyone else want to argue,” Miss Panther said, smiling as she saw the other women hurriedly pull their jewels off.
“The safe, Mister Gardiner – open it.”
“I said no.”
“I don’t have the fucking time for this…Miss Lynx.”
“With pleasure,” Miss Lynx said as she moved the barrel of her gun down Mrs Gardiner, and then under her evening gown, lifting the hem slowly, sensually, until the woman grabbed it and held it round her waist
“That’s good darling,” Miss Lynx murmured seemingly in a trance of her own as she pushed the twin openings against the older woman’s crotch. “Open the safe, you fuckin’ old bastard,” she said as she looked at Mister Gardiner, “or your wife gets a major and painful operation.”
The man stood there, an air of brave defiance in the set of his shoulders.
“Pull your panties down bitch…NOW!” Miss Lynx demanded, withdrawing her gun, but pointing it at the woman’s head. “In fact you might as well take everything off…STRIP BITCH! Let everyone see what you husband and all the men I hear you entertain get to see regularly.”
Gardiner watched in horror as his wife quickly removed all her clothes.
“Not fuckin’ bad.” Miss Lynx ran her shotgun barrel over the woman’s body, pushing the end of her gun into the older woman’s still impressive cleavage. “Bang!” Miss Lynx shouted.
The husband shook and sobbed as Miss Lynx, laughed out loud. “Now,” she warned him as she returned the mouth of her weapon to the woman’s crotch. “Open the fuckin’ safe or I really do blow her cunt wide open.”
“No....” The older man turned white, and then opened the safe, loading the precious gems as quickly as he could into the black leather bag Miss Panther was holding.
“Thank you Mr Gardiner, very wise, very sensible…Miss Lynx NO!” she used an abrupt tone that broke the younger woman’s trance as she continued to rub the end of her shotgun up against the older woman.
Outside there was the sound of thunder and lightning – inside a shocked silence as the last of the female guests dropped to her knees.
“Right – Miss Puma, Miss Cheetah, make sure nobody is going to try and block our exit.”
The two women nodded and headed out of the door, their bottoms wriggling as the men cast furtive glances at each of them.
“Now we’re going to leave here, nice and quietly,” Miss Panther said as she and Miss Lynx left the stage, and walked towards the door, “and none of you are going to stop is, or you die – capiche, motherfuckers?"
“Hey – look what I found? A fucking bitch that tried to hide from our tender touch.”
Miss Panther looked round as Miss Cheetah pushed Sandy back into the room, her wrists secured behind her back with ropes and her jewellery missing.
“She was trying to text – guess she couldn’t get a signal,” Miss Cheetah said as Miss Leopard took Sandy’s chin, a flash of lightning outside followed by a rumble of thunder.
“It’s your lucky night, bitch,” Miss Panther growled into Sandy’s face, “I’m on a timetable, or you would be dead…Right?”
A flash of lightning landed outside the main windows, and the women started screaming as the house was plunged into darkness. It was impossible to see anything – until there was a scatter of light as Miss Leopard fired a burst of gunfire into the air.
“Get on the fucking ground, shut your fucking mouths, and keep fucking still, you bunch of pissant fuckers,” she shouted out, “or I swear to God, I will kill all of you, right here, right now.”
The room fell silent, as Miss Panther said, “Move out.” The six women walked to the doors, led by Miss Panther, and then into the hallway, turning right as they left the mansion and climbed into the car.
“Masks off,” Miss Panther said as she pulled the nylon stocking from her head and placed on the sunglasses. The others followed suit, Miss Leopard starting the car before driving off out of the gates and down Gales Point Road through the pouring rain.
“I wanted to kill her,” Miss Lynx said sulkily as she looked at the dark sky. “I want to kill someone…Mother I need to kill someone!” she screamed.
Miss Panther glanced anxiously at the agitated young woman. It was obvious that the creature within had not had its quota of horror yet. She shook inside as she again contemplated the psychotic beast that was also her so-perfect daughter
“Calm down,” Miss Tigress said as she out her hand on that of Miss Lynx, trying to cool the unsatisfied fury within her friend as the car drove along Smiths Point Road and up towards Proctor Street, turning left eventually onto Beach Street.
“You offed two tonight.” Miss Lynx looked resentfully at Miss Tigress. “Satisfying aint it?” Miss Lynx asked as she laughed a bitter little laugh. “Gets rid of a lot of little frustrations doesn’t it Stick?”
“Not really.” Miss Tigress started to sulk at her friend’s obviously catty remark.
“Well it does for me.”
“It’s the job that’s important. The killing is just a means to an end.”
“Well it aint for me.”
“Girls quiet it down.” Miss Panther intervened sharply. She looked over at Miss Cheetah, who was staring silently out of the window, her face a blank mask.
The car made its way around the outskirts of Manchester, using a route Miss Leopard had worked out that took it through quiet residential areas – which made it doubly unfortunate when a bolt of lightning hit a tree, bringing a branch crashing down in front of it. She managed to stop the car, but not before the front axle rode over the branch, and a sickening crashing sound was heard.”
“Shit,” Miss Leopard said as she hit the dashboard, “We have no transport, and still an hour’s driving to do. What the fuck are we going to do now?”
Miss Bobcat and Miss Tigress looked out of the window as Miss Panther sat in thought.
Miss Panther waved her hand and said, "Let me think for a minute." Looking out of the car window, she saw a house set off the road, and smiled.
"Ladies, I think we need to play the 'Can I use your phone' ploy. Miss Bobcat - will you do the honours?"
10 pm, the Collingwood residence, Pine Street. Manchester
“Wow – that was a close one.”
Jenny Collingwood looked out of the large glass doors that led to the rear yard, watching the lightning dance across the sky. She was wearing a short sleeved red t-shirt with a picture of Snoopy on it, a few sizes too large for her, that acted as a nightshirt over the red checked shorts and bedsocks she had on. Her brown hair was platted into two pigtails, with small red ribbons tied around them.
“Well, keep away from the windows,” her mother said as she brought in some cocoa. Angie was in her early forties, and worked at a local school as a secretary. She had on a light blue dressing gown over a pair of cream silk pyjamas, and slippers on her feet, while her short cut brown hair was held back by a light blue scarf folded into a band.
The sound of the front doorbell ringing made both the women look at Dave Collingwood. He was a carpenter by trade, and ran his business – a very successful one – from their garage.
“I wonder who that could be at this time of night,” he said as he looked at them. He had not changed for bed yet, and was wearing an old grey sweatshirt and joggers with running shoes. Walking to the door, he opened it to see a woman standing there, wearing black shades despite the dark sky. She had on a red jacket over what looked like a tight fitting dress, and red shoes with killer heels. A paper was held over her black hair, and she smiled sweetly at Dave.
“I ahm so sorry to disturb you, honey,” she said in a soft Southern accent, “but my car has hit a branch, and I cannot get a signal to call for a tow truck. I know it is an imposition, but may I use your phone please?”
As he looked at the street, Dave could just about make out the car on the road, and the fallen branch. “Of course,” he said as he opened the door, and allowed the woman to walk in, “I just made some cocoa, would you like some?”
“Well, that is very kind of you,” the woman said as she walked in, and Dave closed the door, “but I must decline your kind offer, sugah. There is something you can do for me, however, if you would be so kind?”
“What would that be,” Dave said as he showed the woman the phone.
“You can keep your fucking mouth shut,” the woman said quietly as he felt the metal of gun against his back, “and open the door for my friends.”
“What’s going on,” Dave said as he started to shiver.
“Just open the door, asswipe,” Miss Bobcat urged as she pressed the pistol against his back. “And not a word to anyone else here, I want to give them a surprise.”
Swallowing, Dave slowly walked back to the door and opened it, watching as five more women, dressed and looking exactly the same, walked in, all armed with sawn off shotguns saved for one who carried an Uzi. “Nice place,” the one who walked in first said, “Where is everyone else?”
“Dave, who was – OHMYGODJENNY....”
“I strongly advise you,” Miss Tigress said as she levelled the shotgun at Angie, “to shut the fuck up. We’ve all had a bad night, we’re cranky, and that makes us more likely to kill all of you right now. Move.” She indicated the way Angie had come, as they pushed Jenny’s parents back into the room.
“Oh shit,” Jenny said as she looked at the women, “who are you?”
“We’re the Pussycat Gang,” Miss Lynx said as she looked at the young girl, “You might have heard of us.”
“No,” Angie whispered as a trickling sound came from her.
“Yes,” Miss Panther said, “and we need your car keys. But first, all of you, on your knees, hands behind your heads, head down – unless you want to argue.”
“Just – just do as they say,” Dave said quietly as the three of them knelt in front of the television. “Right, you fuckers” Miss Panther said, “just do as we say and we all have a good time. You – do you have any rope in this place?”
Dave looked at them, and said “In... In the garage.”
“Get it,” Miss Panther said to Miss Bobcat and Miss Tigress, “and check what cars they have while you are there. Now, you little shit,” she continued as she placed the shotgun against Dave’s head, “You tell your wife and daughter to do everything we tell them to do, understand?”
Dave nodded slowly as he said “Just... Just do what they say, and we’ll be all right.”
“I wouldn’t be sure about that,” Miss Lynx said as she stroked the barrel of her shotgun against Jenny’s cheek, “Not after the night I have had.”
“Don’t you dare touch her, you bastard...”
“Manners,” Miss Cheetah said as she put her shotgun against Angie’s chest. “Shut that dirty little cocksucking mouth of yours, bitch – or I will shut it for you.”
“You wouldn’t dare...”
“Angie, please,” Dave pleaded, “they would. Believe me, they would.”
“He’s right,” Miss Tigress said as she returned with rope, scissors, rags and tape, “There’s a jeep and a Daimler in there.”
“Good,” Miss Panther said with a smile. “Miss Leopard, Miss Cheetah – unload the van and bring everything in, then bring it in front of the house. You three – get to work on them.”
“With pleasure,” Miss Lynx said as she took the scissors, and started to cut the ropes, handing the first length to Miss Cheetah as she knelt behind Angie, pulled her arms behind her back and tied them together at the elbows.
“Ah – that fucking hurts,” she called out.
“Tough fucking shit,” was Miss Cheetah’s comment as she tied her wrists tightly together, and then pulled her dressing gown open and down her arms.
“Mummy,” Jenny said as her wrists were pulled behind her back and tied tightly together by Miss Bobcat, the rope rubbing against her skin, “Wha...”
“Oh fuck this,” Miss Lynx said as she slapped Jenny across the cheeks, “I have had a fucking shitty night, and you are really starting to piss me off, you whining little shithole. Open wide.”
She picked a dust covered rag up and stuffed it into Jenny’s mouth, laughing as the young girl started to cough and retch.
“Get the little bitch out of my sight,” Miss Panther said as Miss Lynx and Miss Bobcat forced Jenny to stand and dragged her by her arms to the staircase, “while I have a serious chat with Mummy and Daddy.”
“Please, for the love of God...”
“God is not here,” Miss Panther breathed into Dave’s face. “We are, and we are very real. Car keys – where are they?”
The bedroom as that of a typical teenager – which made Miss Lynx snort as she shoved Jenny onto her bed.
“It’s your lucky night, fuck face,” she said with a smile as Miss Bobcat closed the bedroom door, “I am in the mood for doing something to ease my pain, and you have kindly volunteered. Hold her down.”
She turned on the bedside lamp as Miss Bobcat sat at Jenny’s head, and Miss Lynx picked up a pair of scissors. They had brought several more lengths of rope with them, as well as their guns, Miss Bobcat caressing Jenny’s head as she placed the pistol against her temple.
“Just relax, dahlin,” she cooed as Miss Lynx cut away Jenny’s shorts, pulling them and her bedsocks off before she grabbed and ankle, pulled it roughly to the side and looped some rope, rubbing it against her bare skin as she tied it tightly to one of the legs of the bed. Securing her other leg, she walked over to Jenny’s wardrobe and opened it, throwing things out until she found some unused hose.
“Here,” she said as she tossed it to Miss Bobcat, “Shut the whining little bitch up some more.” There was a smile on her face as she started to stroke her gloved hands down Jenny’s bare legs.
“With pleasure,” her companion said as she pulled the gusset over Jenny’s head, and then tied the legs around her mouth and head, forcing the dirty rag further in.
“Whtrrudng,” Jenny said as Miss Lynx took the barrel of her gun, and stroked it up the inside of her bare legs, the young girl shivering as the cold metal slipped up her panties. As she did this, Miss Lynx sighed and a glazed expression came over her face.
“What am I doing? She’s asking me what I’m doing,” Miss Lynx said as she pressed the gun against her crotch, licking her lips as she did so. “I’m expressing my frustration on you – so enjoy.”
She suddenly ripped her pink panties off, and wadded them up, pressing it against her nose and inhaling deeply. “Oh you fucking cow, you were turned on by that,” Miss Lynx said as she looked at the young girl, laughing at the way Jenny shook her head as she said “Hold her down.”
Miss Bobcat pulled Jenny down as Miss Lynx took the now bright lamp, and pulled off the paper cone that surrounded it, leaving only the bare bulb as she walked back over to Jenny. “Enjoy, bitch, I know I will” she said as she pressed the burning lamp against her crotch, Jenny screaming in pain and shock as she arched her back. Miss Lynx sighed and stroked along her own crotch as she continued to press the hot glass over Jenny’s body...
“What are they doing to her,” Dave shouted as he and Angie heard Jenny’s muffled screams.
“Having fun,” Miss Tigress said as she came back in from the garage. “Right – the cars are outside, the van is in the garage, and we’ve moved everything over.”
Angie whimpered through the band of silver duct tape that held the oily rag in her mouth, the glue pulling at her skin. Miss Cheetah had tied her arms tightly to her side, the rope pulling her pyjama top open, and she was looking at her husband while his arms were tied to his side.
“Look, you got our cars – just leave us tied up and go, but please, don’t hurt them.”
“Hurt them,” Miss Cheetah said as she tugged the rope tighter around his chest, “Hurt them? You little motherfucker, we’ll do whatever we want to you and your family. In fact – watch.”
She picked up the shotgun, Miss Leopard and the others watching as she did so, and pushed it under the front of her top, pulling it suddenly out as the buttons gave and the silk ripped.
“Nice tits – very fuckable,” she said as she looked at her, and then pushed the barrel down the front of her pants, stroking it up and down as Angie looked at her husband, her eyes pleading.
“No... I’ll do whatever you want...”
“You can shut the fuck up, asswipe,” Miss Leopard said as she pushed a rag into his mouth, and would the tape tightly round his hide while Miss Cheetah continued to stroke her gun up and down, Angie moaning in fear – and something else.
“Get on your ass, cocksucker,” Miss Cheetah said quietly, watching as Angie move and sat down. Using the gun barrel, she pulled her bottoms down, revealing her damp crotch, and then yanked them away before she knelt down and stroked her gloved finger up the slit.
“Hmmgdddnnnnn” Angie whimpered as the finger then slipped in, and stroked inside her.
Jenny was squirming on the bed as Miss Lynx held the hot glass bulb to her tits, rubbing it over her nipples as Miss Bobcat held her down. She could see her friend panting now, her eyes closed as she savoured every last scream.
“Do you know what the best thing is for burns, you little fucking bitch,” she said as she eventually put the lamp back, Jenny panting as she looked at her red breasts. Shaking her head, her eyes widened as Miss Lynx picked up a roll of clear tape and tore off a strip.
“To cover it up,” she said with a smile as she pressed the tape down over the raw and singed flesh, making Jenny scream out again as she covered both nipples. She then reached over and kicked over her breasts, as Jenny struggled round again.
“I think she knows you have her best interests at heart, sugah,” Miss Bobcat cooed as Jenny panted through her gag. Sitting the young woman up, she picked up a roll of duct tape and started to wind it round her head, covering her mouth and jaw as she forced the material against her head.
“I do indeed, Miss Bobcat, I do indeed,” Miss Lynx said as she picked up a pillow and waited until Jenny’s head was lying on her pillow, then placed it over her head. The excitement in her eyes made them glow brightly before she closed them and whispered “So sleep tight, bitch.”
The blast made feathers fly through the air as Miss Lynx screamed “YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS” and fell to her knees, putting her hand under her skirt and licking the juices that were flowing from between her legs as Jenny fell lifeless to the bed, Miss Bobcat laughing as she stood up.
The bang reverberated down the stairs, as Miss Cheetah finished taping Angie’s right leg, her ankle to her thigh and her knee tightly bent. The parents looked at each other, Dave whimpering “NNNNN” as they realised what had happened.
“So soft and moist,” Miss Cheetah said as she knelt down and kissed Angie’s slit, making her squirm again, “You must really enjoy fucking this body, isn’t that right you asswipe excuse for a man?”
“Plssss,” Dave said as Miss Cheetah picked up the shotgun, and Miss Leopard saw the other two coming down the stairs.
“All finished,” she said, Miss Lynx nodding as Miss Cheetah took the tyre iron that Miss Leopard had brought in. She started to play with Angie's passage, making her writhe round before she pushed the handle of the iron in, forcing it up and round as she opened her eyes wide in horror.
“I would apologise, but I’m enjoying this too much,” Miss Cheetah said as she used the handle like a dildo, fucking Angie as she was made to cum in response, Dave crying as he was made to watch with Miss Panther holding a gun to his head.
Angie was too scared to do more than let her body respond, the warmth spreading despite the cold metal tearing her inside. As she let out a long, hard moan, Miss Lynx pushed Dave over on his knees, and put her hand between his legs, making him scream into the gag as she squeezed hard.
“Lick her cum, you twisted little shithead,” she said, pushing his head down as his taped lips were pressed where the tire iron had been a few moments before. She moaned out loud as she made him rub his face to and fro, covering him in the fluids as she felt them flow from between her own legs, the others watching. She let out a long, low moan and sighed, before she pulled his head back, pressed the gun to the back of his head, and said “Bye bye.”
“NNGGNGNDFFFFFFFFFFFF” Angie screamed as she watched her husband’s head explode, and saw his lifeless body slump to the ground.
“You can join him,” Miss Cheetah said as she pressed the sawn-off shotgun to her head, smiling as she pulled the trigger, the thunder outside silencing the report.
“Well, if we are quite finished,” Miss Panther said “We need to get going.” She tossed a set of keys to Miss Leopard, then said “Miss Cheetah, you ride with me. The others in the jeep.”
The group left the house, the younger women following Miss Leopard to the jeep and driving off, while Miss Cheetah got into the passenger seat.
“Better,” she said as Miss Panther gunned the Daimler and they set off, the house left in darkness behind them.
11.30 pm, the base
“I want those cars unloaded and heading into the lake within ten minutes.”
Miss Panther watched as the other five grabbed the bags and brought them into the house, before Miss Cheetah and Miss Leopard took the cars round the side. Walking into the house, she removed her glasses and wig, looked at the three younger girls and said “Very well done.”
“I feel like I could do anything,” Carina said as she sighed, while Joanne helped Abby to remove her clothes, and unstrap ‘the thing’ from her body.
“I thought you were going to,” Juliette said as she stared at her daughter, “both you and Sandy came bloody close to crossing the line tonight.”
“Yeah,” Carina said as Heather came in and pulled her wig off, “but we got it out of us eventually, didn’t we?”
“You did,” Heather said grimly, “but we nearly got into very real trouble there tonight.”
“Agreed,” Diana said, “we got out of there with the gems, but Juliette was right – we rode our luck.”
“Which means next time we plan more carefully,” Juliette said as she removed her jacket. “Get changed and get everything into the cars – I want us out of here in fifteen.”
Saturday 31st August
3 am, Manchester PD, Central Street, Manchester.
“Sandy! My god, what happened?”
Sandy turned and saw Heather come in, dressed in a white one piece suit.
“Can I help you, Miss?”
“Heather Smith – I’m Miss Richmond’s nanny, she asked me to bring her some clothes...”
“It’s all right,” the detective said as he came in, “Let Miss Richmond change, then we can talk to you.”
“Thank you,” Sandy said as she took the bag from Heather.
“I don’t know – George said he’d call. Can you wait while I do this?”
Heather nodded as the detective led Sandy away. Fifteen minutes later, she was sitting in an interview room, as two Federal Agents came in.
“Miss Richmond, I’m Agent Ball,” the tall, thin, balding man said, “and this is Agent Carter.” The blonde haired woman nodded as they sat opposite Sandy, in her jeans and sweatshirt. “I know it has been a long and rough night...”
“You have no fucking idea – finding out the bitch is pregnant,” Sandy thought to herself, but she just smiled sweetly as Agent Ball said “...but we do need to ask you a few questions. Where were you when the gang started the robbery at the Gardiner Mansion?”
“I had gone to the powder room – my time of month,” Sandy said as she looked at Agent Carter, the woman nodding in understanding. “I was just finishing when I heard the gunfire start, and I – well, I hid in the stall and waited.”
“So you saw nothing of what happened?”
“Not at first – but I knew I had to call the authorities and report it. I eventually sneaked out, but ran into two of the bitches as I did so.”
“Can you describe them?”
“Tall, black hair – covered by that stocking mask – and dressed to the nines in a red dress and jacket, red shoes with at least three inch heels, and red scarves. When they turned to look at me, I saw one had a jewelled brooch pinned to her jacket lapel, and the other to her scarf.”
“What did the jewellery look like?”
Sandy looked at Agent Carter, before saying “Gold, diamonds – they were shaped like cat heads, that much I did see.”
“So you ran into them?”
“That’s right – the taller of the two – Miss Puma I think she was called – pointed a gun at my stomach and made me take off all my jewellery, and then the other one tied my wrists behind my back. She led me back into the ballroom as the other one walked out.”
“And when you were pushed in?”
“I saw most of the man lying face down on one side – one was on his back, holding his crotch. The women were on the other side – I saw one dead on the floor, and Allison was lying on the floor. Her parents were at the end of the room – her mum was naked – and there were five other women dressed as the one holding me.”
“All armed – two had some sort of sub machine gun, the others shotguns. Their leader walked up to me, and it looked as if she wanted to kill me.”
“The power went out; there was screaming, and then gunfire. I dropped to the floor and crawled to Allison, as the gang walked out, then tried to help her.”
The two agents nodded, and then Agent Ball said “That’s enough for now – we need to get you checked out at the hospital. We may need to talk to you again, of course.”
“Of course,” Sandy said as she stood up, “You will find me at my New York address.”
She walked out of the room, as Heather stood up. “I’m going to be checked at the hospital,” she said with a weak smile.
“I’m coming too,” Heather said as she put her coat on, and they walked out.
10 am, Riverside Road.
As Juliette came into the kitchen, she was surprised to see Carina up and about, whistling to herself as she beat some batter.
“Hey Mum,” she said with a bright smile, “I’m making pancakes. Want some?”
“Coffee first,” Juliette said as she sat at the table, opening the New York Times and looking at the inside pages. Carina poured some fresh coffee into her mug and placed it in front of her, singing as she went back to the hob.
“Sleep well,” Juliette said as she checked the local supplement.
“Like a log,” Carina said as she poured herself some Orange Juice and sat down. “Anything interesting?”
“Not really.” Juliette looked carefully at her daughter, who certainly seemed more relaxed. It had been after one by the time they got back, Carina sighing to herself as she walked to her room.
Putting the paper down, she said “You seem to be in a far better mood this morning.”
“Why wouldn’t I be – I had a fantastic time last night, and I feel like a million dollars.” Carina flipped a pancake and slid it onto a plate, then handed it to her mother as she prepared some for herself.
“Nope,” Carina said as Abigail came in, stretching and yawning, “Why?”
“Morning little Miss Sunshine,” Abby said as she poured herself some juice, “You got out of the right side of bed today – especially after last night.”
“Well, I told you,” Carina said as she gave Abby a pancake, and then made another, “I just needed to let off a little steam, get the tension out of me, and I feel a million bucks.”
“Right,” Abby said as she sipped her juice.
“Hey – want to go into town and get the books for next term?”
“You want to go into town,” Diana said as she came in, and poured herself some coffee. Abby and the mothers were still in their nightgowns, but Carina had put on a pair of denim shorts over some dark leggings, and a black sleeveless jumper over a white top.
“Yeah – I feel like celebrating,” Carina said as her phone went off. “Hold that thought.
“Andrea? It’s Carina – my mother says it’s fine for Tuxedo. Who have you got coming?”
As she walked out of the room, Abby said “How does she do it? How can she be so ruthless as to use a lamp to torture someone, then kill her and her father, and yet be the preppy girl in the morning?”
“Honestly,” Juliette said, “I do not know – but I am glad I never got on the wrong side of her.”
11 am, the Richmond holiday home.
Joanne stood up as Heather and Sandy walked in, and went to the kitchen, making a pot of coffee and bringing it in as Sandy stretched her legs out. “I told the police we were delayed at the theatre by the storm,” Heather said as she sat down.
“Which from what Heather has told me is half true – has there been anything on the news?”
“So far only about the raid on the mansion – two dead, two severely injured. Talking of which...”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Sandy said as she looked at Joanne, “not right now, anyway. Apparently I didn’t hit her hard enough to cause any damage to the baby.”
“And if she had?”
Sandy has sat with her eyes closed, but she opened them as she gripped Heather’s hand. “Seriously, my dear, do not go there. You still have a lot to learn.
“Speaking of which,” she said as she sat up with a groan, “did you have to tie my wrists quite so tightly?”
“Necessary,” Heather said, “I thought you would be madder at Juliette.”
“I expect it from her,” Sandy said as she rubbed her wrists. “As I was saying – start packing. We need to be back on Monday for your formal interview on Thursday – and we still have a lot of things to buy.”
Monday 2nd September
11 am, an abandoned warehouse, off Midland Parkway, Queens
The black Lincoln pulled up as the Indian gentleman stepped out, adjusting his silk tie as he looked round. He walked quickly to the entrance to the office block, and unlocked the door, walking in and heading to the second floor.
Holding the bag in his hands, he knocked three times as a female voice said “Come in, Mr Agarwal.”
“Do I have the honour of addressing Miss Panther,” he said as she walked in, and saw the tall woman standing there, dressed in a blue jacket and skirt with a green scarf tied round her neck, hiding the bottom of the stocking pulled over her head.
“You do,” Miss Panther said quietly, “Do you have the money?”
“Do you have the merchandise?”
Miss Panther indicated three black holdalls, Mr Agarwal placing his bag where they could both see it as he opened the bags.
“Most impressive – I read the reports of your visit. My compliments.”
“Thank you – I trust everything is to order?”
“It appears so,” Mr Agarwal said, as he drew a pistol and pointed it at Miss Panther. “Such a pity you will not take the money with you.”
“If you want to have more children than the two with your wife and the five here,” a voice behind him said as he felt a cold metal ring against his back, “you will apologise for the insult you just paid Miss Panther.”
The man smiled, returned the pistol and said “I apologise – I clearly made a mistake.”
“Yes,” Miss Panther said, “You did. As a sign of good faith, you will take the jewels, but do not let me see you again. Do we have an agreement?”
He nodded as Miss Panther checked the contents of the bag, and then nodded, the pressure on his back easing. He them picked up the bags and walked out, Miss Leopard smiling as he did so.
“Next time,” she said, “I blow his balls off.”
“What next time?” Juliette watched as he carried the bags to his car, his chauffer opening the trunk, and then loaded them in before they closed the lid, got in and drove off. “IF there is a next time, we do it our way, not theirs.”
Thursday 5th September
10.30 am, Student Guidance Office, St Angela’s School.
“Well, it is unfortunate that the fire at your previous school destroyed your permanent record,” the red haired teacher said to Joanne as she sat across from her at the desk, “but your aptitude tests are all acceptable, and the personal testimonies from Miss Huntingwood and Countess de Ros speak volumes – as does the sponsorship of Miss Richmond. Welcome to St Angela’s, Joanne.”
“Thank you ma’am,” Joanne said as she looked over at the woman, her glasses reflecting the light, “I will try to do my best to uphold the principles and laws of the school.”
“One question, to help determine your curriculum,” the counsellor said, “Have you given any thought to your career aspirations?”
“I have wondered about studying psychology, ma’am – especially criminal psychology. I watch a lot of programs like Law and Order, and that sort of career appeals to me.”
The counsellor smiled, and made a note. “Very well Joanne – you may join your friends outside.”
Joanne stood up, collected her satchel and went out, where Abigail was waiting.
“I’m an Angel,” Joanne said with a smile, putting her arm in Abby’s. “Come on – you can buy me lunch...”