Return of the Vixen
The warm summer evening was drawing to a close, and as the sun set over the horizon the sound of birdsong filled the air around the suburban rows. Around one particular detached house, there was not a lot of other sound to be heard, apart from the occasional car passing in the road below. Even the interior of the house itself seemed peaceful and still, but in the upstairs rooms there were soft, unusual sounds to be heard. Low moaning, the squeak that stockings and tights make when they rub up against each other, and the soft grating of hemp against skin.
Joanna grunted as the rope was pulled tightly and knotted off behind the post of the bed. She had come home a half hour earlier to find the masked woman already in the house, searching through the downstairs room. The intruder had threatened her with a gun, taken her up to the bedroom and forced her to strip down to her black underwear, before systematically and methodically binding her with length after length of white rope to the top of her four poster bed.
First, her wrists had been pulled together behind the post and bound together, then her legs and ankles secured in a similar manner. Further rope had gone around her upper body and breasts, and between her legs and around her waist. Finally, she had been forced to allow the balaclava clad woman to stuff two pairs of her panties into her mouth and cover her lower jaw with black tape.
Throughout all this there had been two major thoughts in Joanna’s mind. First, she had studied the woman carefully. Around five foot ten in height, dressed in a brown roll neck sweater and suede trousers, the legs of which were tucked into knee length brown leather boots, soft brown gloves and a brown balaclava that only allowed her mouth and eyes to show.
The second thing was her sister, Caroline. She had been due to come home an hour before Joanna, and as of yet there was no sign of her. As she stood there watching the masked woman raiding her jewellery boxes, she began to listen out, and could hear more moaning and the clank of chains from elsewhere on the house. The intruder also seemed to hear them; fro she left the room for a few minutes and then came back with another person.
Caroline had the same long dark hair as her sister, but unlike Joanna she was wearing a yellow bikini top and briefs. She also had her arms behind her back, but the intruder was pulling a length of chain, attached to which were a pair of handcuffs. She led Caroline over to another bed in the room, made her lie down and secured the handcuffs around her bare ankles. The young woman stared at her sister over the black tape gag she had, and started to try to mumble something, but Joanna just shook her head.
The intruder resumed her search, and then checked the binding on both women before she left them in the room. As she left, she placed a small card on the dressing table. The two women listened as a car drove off, and stared at each other. There wasn’t only fear in their eyes – there was something else they shared as they looked at each other….
Robbery at home of Clifton Heirs
Sisters bound and gagged by female intruder.
“Makes for a nice headline, doesn’t it?”
The desk sergeant looked up as the DI stood over him. “Sorry, sir,” he said as he closed the copy of The Sun, “I was just reading about the break-in last night. Are both the women all right?”
“They’re in shock, but they should be fine. Funny how one woman managed to overpower them?”
“Not really, sir – I understand she surprised the younger sister some hours earlier as she was sunbathing?”
The DI nodded. “So, ever come across any female robbers in your time?”
“Yeah, one – but this can’t be her.”
“She died ten years ago.”
Three days later, Olivia Densing walked back along Kensington High Street to her flat. She had spent the door in her office, dealing with the usual array of clients and hangers on, and felt in desperate need of a bath. As she closed the door of her flat behind her, she dropped her bag on the floor and walked into the main room.
As she poured herself a drink, she heard a noise behind her and turned around. A woman was standing there, pointing a gun at Olivia and with a finger to the mouth that could be seen through the hole in the brown balaclava. Olivia stared at the woman, put down her glass and said “It can’t be….”
“Oh, but it can,” the woman replied. “Strip.”
Olivia started to unbutton the front of her grey dress, and let it fall to the floor. She stood there in her black bra and pants, staring at the masked woman clad in brown.
“You remember last time,” the woman said, and Olivia nodded. “Same again, then.”
Lying face down on the floor, Olivia grunted as her wrists were tied tightly together with rope, and her ankles crossed and bound in the same way. Made it sit up, she watched as her legs were bound together, and then rope wrapped around her chest above and below her breasts.
“Do you have to gag me?” Olivia asked as the woman came over with a large scarf and a roll of silver tape. “Yes, I do, same as before,” the intruder replied as she pushed the balled up scarf into Olivia’s mouth, and then laid strip after strip of tape over her lips and lower jaw. She then took a long length of rope, secured it around Olivia’s neck and passed it under the ropes below her breasts. Five minutes later, Olivia stared at her as the rope was knotted off as a lariat between her neck and chest. The masked woman proceeded to search Olivia’s flat, only leaving after an hour and placing a card on the coffee table.
The office looked out over the Liffey as the summer sun shone through, but Big Mike wasn’t paying much attention to the outside world. He was reading a report that had been sent to him of the robbery at Olivia Densing’s house, and a file on an earlier break-in at the home of the Cliftons was also on his desk.
The door opened and Dave, one of Big Mike’s main assistants, came in.
“I see you heard about the Densing robbery?”
“Oh yes,” Mike said as he put the file down, “A professional and well executed heist – about ten thousand in jewels alone. Something bothers me about it, though.”
“What’s that boss?”
“The card and the dress of the intruder – it reminds me of someone, but it can’t be her….”
“Who’s that, Mike?”
Mike sat down and indicated to Dave to do the same. “Tell me, Dave, do you remember The Vixen?”
“Yeah, I do – a great thief, but didn’t she die a few years back?”
Mike nodded. “Yeah she did – but shall I tell you something?”
“Nah, it’s probably nothing – but do me a favour, Dave.”
“If you hear of a robbery at a house owned by someone called Harrison in the Birmingham area, call me immediately.”
Dave nodded, stood up and walked out of the office as Mike turned and stared out of the window, muttering “I hope I’m wrong….”
It was a house set back from the road in the Dudley area of Birmingham, and Suzie Harrison was standing in the garage. She had just parked her car, and turned the engine off when she had been pulled out of the car by the masked woman. Now she was standing next to a support pole, her wrists secured behind her back and to the pole while her ankles and her legs above her knees were also secured together with rope. More was passed around her chest, holding her denim jacket and her upper body firmly in place, and a crotch rope pulled tightly through her legs, lifting her denim mini skirt up slightly. She wanted to scream out, to warn her older sister, but the thick white cloth in her mouth prevented any intelligible sound from escaping. All she could do was hope that Betty wasn’t in the same sort of trouble again.
Sadly for her, Betty was at this point looking over shoulder as her wrists were pulled up her back and attached to the ropes holding her arms to her side. The brown-clad intruder had surprised her, just as she had done ten years earlier when their mother was still alive, but unlike that time she was much more strictly bound. She looked down at the ropes around her ankles, and her legs, with the ends which had been passed between and over the loops, and realised she wasn’t going anywhere. She squirmed around, the straps of her blue vest top threatening to come off.
“This is worse than last time,” she said as the woman brought a thick white cloth over.
“You’re also older,” she said as she pulled the cloth back into Betty’s mouth and knotted it against the base of her neck. “This time, you’re not with your sister and your mother’s not here, so you’re on your won, little girl.”
Betty stared at her as she proceeded to remove the family portrait from the wall, and open the safe that was revealed.
The quiet country pub had a few customers in as Mike walked into the main bar area. He glanced around the room, and walked casually up to the bar. A pretty young woman in a t-shirt with the slogan “I’m not free” on it came over.
“What can I get you sir?”
“Half of lager. Nice place you have here.”
“Yeah, Jean keeps a tight ship.”
“She does that – is she here at the moment?”
“Yeah, hang on – Jean? Customer for you!”
The door behind the bar opened, and a woman with greying brown hair came through carrying two plates of food. She asked “Which one?”, but when she saw Mike standing there a quizzical look came over her eyes.
“Well, I’ll be – it’s been a long time.”
“Too long – can I have a word?”
Jean passed the plates to the girl, said “Table 5” and took her apron off as she walked with Mike out to the beer garden.
“What the hell are you doing here?” She said as the two of them sat down.
“Sorry to drop in unexpectedly, but something’s up”
“What could possible concern me about your business now?”
In reply, Mike tossed a copy of the paper over to Jean. “The Vixen has been out and about again – and history is repeating itself.”
Frowning, Jean took the paper and read the report of the Harrison robbery three days previously. “Looks like bad luck to me,” she said as she tossed the paper back.
“Except that three weeks ago, there was a break-in at the home of Joanna and Caroline Clifton, and a week after that another burglary at the home of one Olivia Densing. All the victims describe the assailant in the same way – five eight, dressed in brown with a balaclava mask, and all describe that it was very similar in most ways to break-ins ten years ago.”
“Now just a minute – someone is copying my work?”
“It looks that way – more especially, your last four crimes before….”
“Before I died – but why? What possible reason could there be? I mean, the two Harrison girls were twelve and ten when I robbed their house – I surprised them when their mother was out, tied them together and stuck sticking plaster over their mouths. They were too scared to try to interfere when I tied their mother up.”
Mike passed over a folder. “This is a copy of the statements of the two girls – read young Betty’s in particular.”
Jean took up the document, and read the report, a frown crossing her face as she did so. “As you say a copy. What about the others?”
“Identical in every detail. Joan, I hate to do this to you, but if someone is really copying your last four cases then they’re going to walk into a shitload of trouble – any ideas who may be behind it?”
Joan sat in thought. “Only three people knew all the details of what happened and who I robbed that week – me, you and Bert.”
“Well, you’re officially dead, and I didn’t talk – what about Bert?”
“Nah – I’m afraid Cancer got him a year ago. There’s only…..”
“Mike, you say the Harrison robbery was three days ago?”
“Well, I think I know who might be doing it, but we may already be too late to stop the next robbery. Let me grab a bag from the flat upstairs and tell Bea to lock up at closing time – I need your help.”
“Right – lie face down on the floor”
Roxanne stared hard at the masked woman as she laid her naked body on the carpet. She also looked up at her daughter, Coraline, as she stood there as naked as her mother was. The two had just returned from a shopping trip and had been about to make some tea when the intruder had surprised them.
On the floor near them were two piles of clothes. Roxanne had been wearing a white coat dress with a wide brown leather belt, a brown satin slip and shoes, while Coraline had worn a white peasant skirt with a lace trim, a Sloppy Joe t-shirt and black ankle boots. Now she was looking at her mother’s naked body as Roxanne placed her wrists in the small of her back.
The intruder handed Coraline a length of rope. “Tie your mother’s wrists together, tightly,” she ordered the frightened young woman as the gun was waved in her face. “I’m sorry, Mum,” she said as she knelt beside her and passed the rope around them.
“Don’t be, Cora – be as brave as last time,” her mother said with a smile. Although she was in her early forties, her body was that of a woman ten years younger, thanks to her exercise regime. She grunted slightly as Coraline pulled the rope around her crossed wrists, and then lay still as the rope was knotted off.
“Now her ankles,” the woman in brown said, and Coraline bound her mother’s ankles together, making sure the rope was passed between her legs as the intruder had instructed her earlier. Roxanne rolled over onto her side as the woman tossed a roll of green tape to Coraline, as well as a handkerchief.
“Open wide,” she said as she pointed the gun at Roxanne’s head, and watched as her daughter pushed the cloth into her mother’s mouth, before tearing some strips of tape off and placing them over her lips.
“Very good’, the woman said as she took the roll of tape back. “Your turn now – lie face down.”
“Please – why can’t you do what you did last time?” Roxanne said as she stood there.
“You’re a big girl now, and big girls get to do as their mothers. Now, lie down!”
Roxanne watched as the woman claiming to be The Vixen quickly bound her daughter’s wrists and ankles together with rope, as well as her legs above her knees. Pulling Coralline’s ankles back, the masked intruder placed her in a hogtie before stuffing a cloth in her mouth and covering her lower jaw with silver duct tape. As she went out of the room, Roxanne called out to her daughter.
“Dnt pnc – tsnt t sm wmn?”
“hw d u kn?”
“I kn – ddy tk cr f hr.”
“s wh s sh?”
Roxanne shook her head – she had no idea, but by god whoever this woman was she was in a lot more trouble than she realised.
An hour passed before the woman came back, checked the bonds and left, with her calling card on the table. Roxanne lay still for a minute, then rolled over onto her back and sat herself up. Scooting across the floor to a nearby cabinet, she turned round and pressed on an ornate button in the wood.
Sara Jenkins stepped out of her car and pulled her great coat around her body. There was a summer chill in the air as she retrieved her bag and walked into the front door of her home, placing the bag on a table by the door. Walking into the room, she turned the light on to lift the evening gloom and got the shock of her life.
Sitting in the chair in front of her was a woman, about five foot eight, dressed in a brown jumper and slacks, the legs of which were ticked into knee length boots that zipped up the side. She was wearing a brown balaclava mask, and was sipping a brandy.
“What the hell…” Sara said as the woman put her glass down, and removed her balaclava. She stared at the woman in shock.
“Aunt Jean? But you’re…..”
“Dead – and so will you be unless you sit down and listen to me. Close the door, Mike”
Sara turned round and saw Big Mike coming into the room. “Who is this, and what’s going on?”
“Take your coat off, Sara, and sit down – I have a story to tell you.”
Sara removed her greatcoat to reveal the outfit she had been wearing, and sat down as Mike poured her a brandy.
“I take it was Bert who told you about my last four cases?” Jean said as Sara took a sip from her glass.
She nodded in reply. “When Dad died, I needed to raise some extra money, and I thought now that ten years had passed people would not remember the legendary Vixen.”
“My reputation precedes me,” Jean said with a smile. “There is, however, a problem. You’ve been to the Cliftons, Mrs Densing and the Harrisons – and may I say I compliment you on your attention to detail – but it’s where you’ve been tonight that’s the problem.”
“Oh,” Sara said, “and where have I been tonight.”
“The Oldshott mansion – you’ve robbed them, haven’t you? Let me guess – you surprised Mrs Roxanne Oldshott and her daughter Coralline as they returned from a shopping trip, secured them and then raided the safe?”
Sara glanced over her shoulder at the bag she had left in the hall. “Yeah, why?”
“Because I’m about to tell you what happened ten years ago….”
Jean allowed a smile to cross her face. She wasn’t very fond of tying up kids, but after the last time at the Harrison house she had learnt her lesson. Young Coraline was sat on her bed, her wrists and ankles tied together and a strip of sticking plaster over her mouth, as she led her mother out of the room.
“All right, Mrs Oldshott,” she had said as they went into the office at the back of the house, “Strip and kneel on the floor.”
“All the way?” Roxanne had answered, and Jean had just nodded. The reputation of The Vixen went a long way to her getting her own way, and this little madam was going to be no different.
After Roxanne had stripped, Jean had tied her up quickly and tightly. Wrists behind her back, ankles and legs tied together, rope around her arms under her breasts, and then lay down on the floor and placed in a strict hog tie with rope from her neck and shoulders down to her wrists and ankles.
As she knelt down to put strips of white tape over her mouth, Roxanne had said to her “You’re making a big mistake, lady,” but Jean had just smiled and taped over her lips. Mrs Oldshott lay there, watching as Jean emptied the contents of the safe into her bag and went out of the room. She then glanced up at a small ornament in the wall and nodded.
“It was a security camera – a very good and discreet one,” Jean continued as she sipped her drink. “What I didn’t know – what you don’t know – is just what Mr Oldshott does for a living.”
“What does – did he do?”
“Government work,” Mike said as he sat down. “Very serious government work – the type you don’t hear about. Your father got a tip off about this, but it was too late to warn Jean, so I went out to make sure she was all right.
“I found her car a mile or two down the road from the Oldshott house – run off the road and smashed against a tree. Jena had been thrown clear, but her leg was smashed from the impact. As I looked at her, the car caught fire, and I realised that The Vixen had to die.”
“Mike took me to a contact of his, who arranged for me to be smuggled out of the country for a while. Two years later, I came back in under an assumed identity and lived a normal life – until you decided to do my greatest hits!”
“IS Mr Oldshott still alive?” Sara asked as she gulped her drink down.
“Oh yes,” Mike answered, “and unless we move fast, you may be getting a visit from him. Grab your bag – you’re coming with us?”
“Mike will take you with him to safety – I’ll keep an eye on your place, and when it’s right to do so get your stuff shipped over. One thing, though?”
“Yes, Aunt Jane?”
“I’ll see you soon enough, but The Vixen must die again. Understood?”
“Understood,” Sara said as the three of them left the house by the back door, taking Sara’s bag with them.