After School Specials – part 1
Mom had taken me and Jess out for the day, to buy some new clothes for Grade school. She was wearing a knee length pink skirt and a long sleeved white blouse, with white shoes, while I remember I was wearing a red jersey dress with white tights and black shoes.
As for Jess, my younger sister by a year, she had on a funny dress, with a grey cheesecloth check body, and res sleeves and sides with white polka dots, as well as a white collar as big as Mom’s. She wasn’t wearing tights, but did have on flat brown shoes.
Anyway – we drove to our house, with our bags, and I smiled as I waved to some of our friends playing on the road while Mom got the bags from the back of the car. I went and unlocked the front door, and then we walked in. Jess went up to her room with Mom, while I went to put the television on – only to hear a knock on the front door.
Walking to it, I said “yes, can I…” and then gasped as two men walked in, one of them grabbing me and putting a gloved hand firmly over my mouth as the other closed the door. “Is anybody else home,” he said as he looked at me, and I pointed up the stairs.
Both men were wearing smart suits, shirts and black ties, but they had gloves on – the smell of the leather filling my nostrils as I struggled to speak. The man nodded as he went upstairs, and then I heard Mom say “oh my god – who are you, and what are you doing?”
“Keep quiet lady – down the stairs, hands on your head.”
I watched as Mom walked down, her hands palm down on her blonde hair, as the second man followed, his gloved hand covering Jess’ mouth. Her eyes were wide open under her glasses, as the man said “draw the blinds in the front room, then lie face down on the long seat.”
“Be brave, girls,” Mom said as she walked in, and closed the blinds over the windows, while the two men followed her in with us, looking at each other as we wondered what was going on.
“You kids – kneel down in front of the couch,” the man behind me said, “put your hands behind your back, and don’t say a word.”
“What’s going on Mom,” I whispered as we both knelt down.
“Just do was they say,” she said quietly, “and they’ll go away more quickly.”
I felt the man pull my wrists behind my back, and then heard a ripping sound before something sticky was pressed against my skin, and then wrapped tightly round my wrists, holding them together. I felt him pressing hard on my arms, and then found I could not move my wrists apart. Looking to the side, I saw him using a band of white tape to secure Jess’ wrists together as well.
“Please – they’re just little girls,” Mom said as the second man crossed her wrists behind her back, and used a second roll of tape to secure them together as well.
“Then answer our questions, lady – where is your safe?”
“In… In the bedroom,” she said as he tore the tape off and smoothed it down. I saw her struggle as the man said “and the combination?”
“Don’t tell himmmm” Jess said, and then I saw the man hand gagging her again.
“Tell your kids to be quiet,” he whispered, “before we make sure they stay quiet.”
“Jess, Andi – do as they say,” Mom said as she looked at us, and we both nodded.
“Better,” the man behind the couch said as he walked round, and started to tape Mom’s ankles together, “secure their legs as well.”
I felt the second man put my legs together, and then felt the tape as it was wound tightly round them, securing them together. I looked over as Jess was also secured in the same way, saying “don’t cry – we’ll be all right.”
“I’m scared,” she said as Mom rolled onto her side. “don’t be scared,” she said quietly, “we’ll get through this together, all right?”
“You search down here – I’ll check the safe,” the man who had taped Mom’s wrists and ankles said as he went back up the stairs, the second man making Jess and me sit on the floor as he looked through all the boxes and drawers.
“Are you all right Mom,” I said as I twisted round and looked at her.
“I’ll be fine – and you girls will be as well, if you stay calm. Let’s try and make a game of it – see who can be quiet for the longest, all right?”
We both nodded and watched the second man as he completed his search, and then opened Mom’s purse, tipping her money into his own pocket.
“I got the jewels,” the first man said as he came back down, “make sure they stay quiet.”
We all watched as he pulled the telephone out of the wall, and then I heard Mom say “no – please we’ll be quiet…”
“Yes I know,” the man said as he pressed something on Mom’s mouth, and we both saw the white tape covering her lips. The second man then pressed a strip of tape over my mouth, and finally over Jess’ as we sat there.
“Whhtrusgnndd,” she said as she looked at them.
“Leave you alone,” the man said as they both walked out, closing the door and leaving us in the dark. We all sat still for a few minutes, before Mom started to struggle on the couch, trying to get free. We just both sat there, too scared to do anything in case they came back.
Eventually, we heard Mom say “are you girls all right?” I looked up to see the tape on the seat cushion, as she sat up and then managed to stand between us. “Stay there a little while longer,” she said as she started to jump away, heading for the kitchen. We looked at each other and then heard her say “yes,” before she walked back in with a pair of scissors.
She cut the tape from our ankles, and then our wrists, before she gently peeled the tape away and hugged us both. “Come on,” she said quietly, “we’ll go next door and use their phone to call the police…”
Mom and Dad were working at the store after school that day, so I was told to go straight round to Grammy’s and they would pick me up later. I liked Grammy – she looked like Angela Lansbury in the TV series Murder She wrote, with grey hair, and she always gave me treats.
The other reason I remember that day is because I was wearing to school, for the first time, my Wonder Woman boots – a present from Mom, they were red boots with a white trim and a stripe at the front. I was also wearing a sundress with candy coloured wide stripes and thin white strips between them, and a purple jacket.
So the school day ended, and I walked the short distance to Grammy’s house, with my bag over my shoulder. It was a nice day, but I was hoping she had some freshly made cookies to eat. When I got there, there was a blue car parked outside, and I wondered if Grammy had a friend visiting
Anyway – I went in the front door, called out for Grammy to say I was there, and went into the front room – and there was Grammy, looking at me as she sat in a chair from the dining table. Only she was sitting in a funny way.
She had on a brown jacket and skirt with a small check pattern, and a lighter brown tieneck blouse, and brown sandals – but the jacket was pulled to the side of her body, and as I got closer I saw that someone had tied her to the chair back with ropes, and they were what was keeping the jacket open.
Her ankles were also tied to the front legs of the chairs, and her wrists tied to the chair back. She was trying to talk to me as well – but whoever had tied her to the hair had also pulled one of her patterned scarves between her teeth, and I could see a damp dark patch between her lips.
I finally realised something was wrong, and was about to run out when I was grabbed from behind, and a hand was pressed over my mouth – a hand in a leather glove, which smelled funny as I tried to get free. This soft voice told me to calm down, that they weren’t going to hurt me, but if I struggled I might hurt myself. I looked at Grammy, who nodded and said something like “jsstseclm” as I nodded and the hand was taken away and I turned round.
There was a man standing there, wearing a red scarf round his mouth, and as he looked at me he asked if I was her granddaughter. I nodded at that, and then he said he was very sorry, but he had to make sure I didn’t call for help or raise the alarm for a while. Taking my hand, we walked to the dining table and he got another chair, putting it next to Grammy and telling me sit on it.
The chairs had a high back, with spars running down it, and the man told me to put my arms through the gaps in the chair back. Grammy nodded, so I did as he asked me to, and I felt him putting my wrists together, and then tying them together with rope. I sat still, not wanting to get hurt, as he secured them and then tied them to the chair back.
Grammy looked at me and smiled, a funny smile given she had a scarf tied in her mouth, while the man then tied some rope around my waist and the chair back to keep me there. He also tied some rope round my tummy, and then walked round. I was swinging my legs to and fro – I was still too small to reach the floor in these chairs, and then I watched as he put my ankles together, and started to tie rope round them.
He doubled the rope over, and then pulled them back in the same way Dad uses a rope to tie a boat to the shore. He wound it round a few times, the white clear on the red as I felt my ankles being forced together, before he separated the ends and tied them between my legs. Once he had tied the rope off, he tied another length between my ankles, and then tied them to the legs.
Another length of rope appeared, and he folded my dress skirt back a little before he tied my legs together in the same way. Smiling, he then left the room, coming back with a brown silk scarf that Grammy sometimes wore to church. He rolled that up into a band, and told me to open my mouth as wide as possible.
It tasted a little funny as he put it between my teeth and lips, and then tied it round my head, while I closed my lips over it. But it did keep me quiet, because when I tried to talk to Grammy it came out as a low mumble, Grammy nodding to show she knew as well.
So I got comfortable, looking at Grammy and smiling as the man walked out of the house. We were there for a couple of hours until Mom and Dad found us – I was scared, but I knew Grammy was there to keep me safe…
“Aw no – I forgot the milk. Can you go and get it Bobby?”
I groaned as I looked at my mum – we had just got back in, and I would have to go out again? What was worse, it was cold and grey outside – and not just because of the period.
“All right,” I eventually said as I looked at Mum. She was wearing a beige greatcoat, the belt tied tightly round her waist, and her brown suede wedge heeled boots were also visible. My younger sister Katy stuck her tongue out as I said that – she was eight at the time, and I remember she was wearing a red, grey and striped hooded coat over a white jumper, black bellbottom pants, white socks and black shoes.
So I took the money from Mum, and fastened up my own Biker jacket before I went back out. I also had on my favourite denim jacket, and a blue shirt, with bellbottom jeans and black trainers. We lived on a new estate outside the town centre, and the Spar was a good half hour’s walk away, but what choice did I have?
So – half hour walk to the shop, buy the milk, half hour walk back. I came in through the back door, put the milk in the fridge, and went into the front room after I took my coat off.
Which was when I stopped and stared for a few minutes. Katy was lying on her side on the couch, Play Away on the television – but she was terrified, and I could see why. She had a cloth tied between her lips, and her wrists were tied together in front of her with what looked like twine – twine that had then been used to tie her ankles together as well, a length connecting them to her wrists.
“Hllpmmm,” she said as I ran to the kitchen and got a pair of scissors, and then cut her free, helping her to sit up and taking the wet cloth out of her mouth. I then held her as she started crying, and said two men had come into the house after I had left. They had tied her up, gagged her, and left her on the couch before taking Mum upstairs.
They had left twenty minutes later, but between the sobs she told me Mum was still upstairs. I told her to wait there, and took the scissors in my hand as I walked slowly up the stairs. I could hear muffled calls from Mum and Dad’s room, but I had to stop and look again as I opened the door.
Mum was on the bed – she had taken her coat off, and I could see the grey wool dress as well as her boots. The men had tied her wrists behind her back, and then to her ankles, before they had tied a scarf in her mouth. She looked at me, as I walked quickly in and cut her free, then she sat up and removed the scarf before she hugged me.
The drawers of the furniture were all open, and I could see some things scattered on the floor, but she took me by the hand and we went down to find Katy. Mum then took us next door, and after she talked to Mrs Dean we stayed there with drinks and biscuits while Mum made a phone call, and then went back to the house. The police came and talked to me and Katy, and then Dad came back from the game, and took us all out for fish and chips…
I was so excited, because I had been named Best in Class at reading, that I jumped up and down in my seat all the way home from school. I was wearing a lovely brown skirt with braces, over a short sleeved white blouse, and brown knee length Frye boots, with my brown hair in two big bunches which my mom had done that morning.
Anyway, as I said, I was in a great mood as I ran up the path to my house, and opened the door wide, calling out for my mom. She didn’t say anything, so I went straight into the front room- and that was when the nightmare began.
Mom was lying on our long seat, her grey blonde hair a little unravelled, and her eyes wide open over the scarf that was tied between her lips and around her head. She was wearing a long grey checked sleeveless coat and skirt, with a red jumper, dark stockings and black shoes – but her wrists were crossed and tied together in front of her, and the string then wound down her legs and around her ankles.
She shook her head and tried to say something, but then someone pressed their hand over my mouth, and there was a strong smell of leather. Mom got really upset, and started twisting round, then stopped as a deep voice told her to, and that I wouldn’t be hurt. He then told me to be quiet, and I would be all right, and I nodded.
He told me to go and sit on the long seat, and as I did I saw him – open necked shirt, dark trousers, shoes, and short hair – but it was pressed down under the stocking he had pulled over his head. Anyway, he made me cross my wrists on my lap, and took a ball of string out of his pocket, which he used to tie my wrists together. It felt rough, and it was tight, but I was determined to show Mom I could be brave.
She watched, as I did, as the man then wound the string down and tied my ankles together as well, before he cut the string with a big, sharp knife. It felt funny – my ankles were tied tightly together, and my wrists tied to them, so I really could not move.
He then went into the hallway and came back with one of Mom’s headscarves. He rolled that into a band, and told me to open my mouth. I looked at Mom, who nodded, and I allowed him to pull the band between my lips, as he must have done with her. It pressed on my cheeks, but then he looked at both of us and left. We could hear the front door open and close, and then Mom looked at me, and mumbled something.
I nodded, and then lay down with her, as she pressed her lips on my head, and we waited for Pops or someone to come and find us….
You hear about these sort of things – see the reports in the papers, and the television shows that deal with police and the like. But when it happens to you, it is a very different affair.
Mum had taken me and my younger sister April to the cinema to see a film – I can’t remember right now what it was – but we dressed up for it. April and I had similar outfits – a long sleeved tunic top with white bands on the sleeves, and bell bottom pants. Mine was green, and April’s was a mustard yellow. We both also had on white shoes, and pendants round our neck, our brown hair combed out and with a bow clip.
As for Mum, she was wearing a lilac short sleeved dress, with a short skirt a large white collar, and matching shoes. She had dark brown hair, cut in a short style. Anyway, we had been to the cinema, and on the way back she bought some fish and chips for us to have for our tea once we were back in the house.
We didn’t get to eat them…
Why not? When we got home, and went into the kitchen, we found that someone had been looking through them, and the back door was open. I remember Mum looking at it, and then telling us we needed to go next door – but as we turned round, two men were standing there, wearing coveralls and masks over their faces!
April screamed, and then the masked man told us to be quiet, or he would hurt us – something that made Mum really upset as she hugged April and told her to be brave. I said the same thing, as the second man made us walk through to the dining room, and then pulled three chairs away from the table before he told us to sit on them.
Mum sat down in the middle one, and we sat either side, before one of the men went behind us, and told me to lean forward. As I did so, he guided my hands between the slats in the chair back, and then started to tie my wrists together behind the chair back. I looked at Mum, who was telling us both to be brave and do as we were told, while the other man took April’s hands through the chair back and started to tie them together as well.
April was crying, and so was I- whatever they were using rubbed on my wrists, but it kept them together, as the man then took Mum’s arms around the chair back and started to tie her wrists as well. I guessed her arms were too big to go through the gaps…
I then watched as the masked man knelt in front of me, and used a length of thin cord to tie my ankles together. He then tied April’s ankles, before he tied Mum’s ankles together - and then pulled them to the side and tied them to the chair leg. I wondered why he didn’t do that to us as I swung my legs up and down -and then I realised why. We couldn’t reach the floor, and Mum could.
We watched as they searched the room, and then they rolled up three rags – which they pushed into each of our mouths, before they ran off. The rags kept us quiet, and we were too scared to push them out as we looked at each other…
Dad came home an hour later, and cut us free as well as taking the cloths from our mouth. We had supper later – after the police had come…
Oh I remember the day I was robbed at home. I was thirteen, and I was dressed in what I thought was fashionable – a mini skirt and waistcoat with a Giraffe skin pattern, a white silk blouse with the biggest collar you have ever seen, and white lace up leather boots with a square heel.
Hey – it was the seventies, all right? I had very light brown hair then, and I was allowed to stay at home until Mum or Dad came home. Mind you, they did not expect anyone to break into the house – but I walked in the back door, put my bag down, and was grabbed from behind with my hand over my mouth.
A young male voice told me not to panic, but to stop struggling - and I didn’t want to give him any more ideas, so I did as he asked, and then walked in front of him through the house, up the stairs and into my bedroom.
I was too scared to do anything, as he made me lie on my bed, face down, and picked up a ball of wool which was in a basket on my table – I was learning to knit at the time. He made me roll over, and put my hands together in prayer, before he used the wool to tie my wrists together, and then put my hands above my head and tied them to the headboard. He then used the wool to tie my ankles together, and secure them to the foot of the bed, so that I could not do anything except wriggle round.
I really felt vulnerable then, but he looked at me and said I would be all right – before he took a roll of sellotape, and tore several strips off before he pressed them over my mouth. I could only watch as he looked through my jewellery boxes, then blew me a kiss before he walked off.
I was stuck there for an hour until Dad came home and found me – and I was scared, for a while. I can’t think what brought that back…
Well, I can. It was over forty years ago, but lying on my side on my bed, with my granddaughter looking at me as the masked man ties her ankles to the ropes around her chest, I wish it was that simpler time. I’m wearing a black sundress with a floral print, my granddaughter a fawn jumper and black trousers, but the gang have tied our wrists, arms and legs, and the tape over our mouths mean I can only think rather than say…
Dad was the manager of a bank in town when I was a young teenager, and I lived on the outskirts of town with my mum and Tony, my younger brother. The day this all happened, I had the afternoon off school, and we had been allowed to wear our own clothes, so I was wearing something new and fashionable – a grey striped waistcoat and mini skirt with a white blouse that had a wide collar, and knee length black leather boots that laced up the front. Tony was meant to have been at school, but he had felt unwell that morning, so Mum had let him stay off.
It was about half one by the time I got home, and went straight up to my room to put my books on my table. When I came back down, I went into the living room, to see if Mum was in, and what Tony was doing – and they were in there…
The room was dim, the curtains drawn across the windows, but I could see they were sitting on the floor, back to back. Mum had on a lovely light blue minidress with chiffon sleeves, and a pair of boots like mine that laced up the front, only hers were white. Tony had on a jumper with a leaf pattern, jeans and white bowling shoes with brown leather stripes, with white socks.
Only something was round his white socks, holding his ankles together. At first, I thought it was a rubber band or something, but as I walked into the room, I saw it was a band of white rope.
Tony looked at me and shook his head, as I saw Mum had her ankles tied together as well, and they both had their arms behind their back. They also had a band of rope holding them both together around their waists, and I finally realised they both had a folded scarf tied over their mouths.
I recall saying “Mum” and her turning to look at me, her eyes wide open as she said “GGTTUUUUTTTT!” I turned to run – and ran straight into a belly. A belly that belonged to a big man who grabbed me, and put his hand over my mouth as a second man came in.
“Oh good – more help for persuading Daddy,” he said, “tie her up.”
“What ruuddnnn” I said – well, tried to because the man tied a scarf round my head as well, before he picked me up and made me lie face down on the couch, where Mum and Tony could see me. He pulled my hands behind my back and tied them together, then tied my ankles tightly together as well, before he pulled them back and used more rope to tie them to my ankles.
I rolled onto my side and looked at my mum and brother as the second man – a thin man with a scar on his face – picked up the telephone and dialled.
“May I speak to the manager please?
“Listen very carefully – we have your family hostage. Do not call the police, do not raise the alarm. Someone will be coming to see you in half an hour, and you will follow his instructions, or your family get hurt. If we see the police, they get hurt. Do you understand?”
“Lttmtlktthmm,” Mum said, but the man shook his head and put the telephone down, sitting in the chair and looking at us as he said we had to wait.
So we waited – for an hour, the men taking turns to watch us as the other looked out from the curtains. Tony had his head down, but Mum and I tried to look at each other, our boots squeaking from time to time as we moved.
Eventually, the telephone rang again, and the thin man picked it up. He talked for a minute, and then nodded to the other man, who stood up and followed him out of the house. Mum and I started to try and free ourselves, but half an hour later, when the police arrived, we had got nowhere. One of the policemen untied me while the other removed the rope around Mum and Tony, and I saw they also had their hands tied behind their back.
A third man has visited Dad, and forced him to hand over a lot of money or we were going to be hurt. I’m glad he did, and glad we didn’t get hurt…
Actually, I do remember my first time – it was a different day for so many reasons…
It was the day on which the class photo was taken, and we all wore our finest and most fashionable outfits. I was in a dark purple blouse, with a lighter purple waistcoat and mini skirt, and black knee length laced leather boots. My chestnut hair was long and brushed back, and I took special care with make up for this one.
All the girls had nice dresses or outfits on, but the one I was looking for was my best friend Daisy. When she came in, she smiled when she saw me, her glasses framing her face as her strawberry blonde hair fell in front of her pink top. She was also wearing a pair of tight shorts – white ones with a daisy print in colour – but the best thing of all was that she was wearing the same style of boots as I was!
So we all posed for the photo, and then Daisy asked at the end of the day if I wanted to go back to her place – we had a science project to finish off. I said I would, and I’d call my mom from her house. So once the day was done, we started to walk down to her place, holding our books as we talked about this and that.
As we got closer, I saw the black Caddie parked outside Daisy’s house, but didn’t think anything of it. It was when we went in, the door was shut behind use, and Daisy dropped her books on the floor that things took a very different turn.
She has a younger sister – she was about eleven at the time – and she and her mother were being forced to go upstairs by a man with a stocking pulled over his head, and a gun in his hand. Her sister was wearing a striped sleeveless top, white skirt and dark brown boots, and her mom a light blue slip dress and heels – but they both had their hands tied behind their backs with rope, and as they looked at us I saw the sticking plaster over their mouths.
Right then, though, I was more worried about the man behind us, who ordered us to go into the front room and kneel down, facing each other, with our hands on our heads. As we knelt down, I saw him behind Daisy – a stocking over his head as well, and a shotgun that seemed to be shorter than it should be as he placed it where we both could see it.
He pulled Daisy’s wrists behind her back, and I tried to keep her calm, told her I was sure her mom and sis would be all right, and that we had to do as he said. She nodded and grunted at the same time, as he tied her wrists together, and then walked behind me. I felt the rough rope on my wrists, but tried to keep smiling.
Daisy talked to me as well – said she was scared, but she knew not to panic – and she also said I looked nice. I remember blushing at that, and then she asked if I liked her boots. As I nodded, she said she had bought them last weekend – because she liked the way they looked on me.
I blushed again and then gasped as the masked man took some rope around my upper body, pulling my arms into my sides as her forced my chest out. I happened to look at Daisy as he did this, and there was a strange look in her eyes – one I must have reflected once he tied those ropes off, and did the same to her, stretching her jumper over her chest as he did so.
WE could hear noise upstairs, but right then all we could do was stare at each other as he started to use more rope to tie our ankles together, and then made us sit side by side as he tied our legs together below our knees. Oh we talked to each other, but as I wriggled round, the ropes rubbed on me, and as Daisy did the same…
The time for talk came to an end, however, as he tore strips of sticking plaster off a roll and pressed them firmly over our mouths. I could feel the fabric and adhesive tugging on the skin around my mouth, but it did mean we could not talk, just watch as he searched the main room.
A short while later, the second man came back in, and they went out, leaving Daisy and me on the floor, and the sound of her mom and sis upstairs. Whatever they had done, they could not move, but we stayed there, looking at each other. I smelt her perfume, and she tried to smile at me – and then she placed her head on my shoulder, rubbing her cheek on it.
I looked down at her, and gently gave her a peck on her head - at which she raised he head and looked at me. There was a look, an understanding – and I lowered my head, pressing my plaster covered lips on hers. She responded – and somehow, we both knew what we were doing, as we continued to gag kiss each other…
Eventually, Daisy’s mom managed to free herself and her sister, then came down and freed us before she called the police, but that was the day we realised how we felt for each other – and we’re still together now…
I was eleven years old at the time, and lived at home with mum, dad and my little brother Tommy. Mum worked as a barmaid in the evenings, and Dad was a clerk in a shoe store – so while we had a good home, there was nothing special in it.
Which made what happened even more strange…
We were sitting having beans on toast for tea that evening. Dad was still wearing his blue shirt and trousers, and tie, while Mum was putting in her earrings for work. Her blonde hair was in a bun, and she was wearing a silver mini dress and back heels. I was wearing a blue sleeveless dress with a white belt, and a white stripe at the front, a blouse, white tights and black shoes, while Tommy had on a blue and black striped top, jeans and black socks.
As I said, we were having our tea, Mum was getting ready for work, and Dad was home – so when he stood up to see who was knocking at the door, we carried on as normal.
I’m not sure if it was me or Mum who screamed first when Dad was forced back into the kitchen by the two men, wearing boiler suits, gloves and masks that covered their heads. One of them told us all to be quiet, while the second one forced Dad to sit down – and we saw the gun in his hands.
Tommy asked what was happening, and Mum told him not to worry, we were going to do what the men said. One of them was carrying a canvas bag, and I started to shake when he opened it, and took out lengths of rope.
He said we had to stay in the front room while they took Mum and Dad upstairs, and told us to put our hands out in front of us. I hugged Tommy, and told him we both had to be brave, before I let the man tie my wrists together – I watched as he took the rope around my arms, and then between them, so that it looked as if I was wearing rope handcuffs.
Tommy was afraid as the man tied his wrists together, but I could see the other man was taking Mum’s hands behind her back and tying them together, so I nudged him and said we’d be able to tickle each other – that seemed to cheer him up.
The second man then tied Dad’s hands behind his back, before he told us all to walk into the front room – a room we only ever went into on a Sunday when Gran visited. He told me and Tommy to sit on the big couch, so we jumped on and shuffled back so that our legs hung over the seat edge.
The man then took more rope from the bag and tied my ankles together, as well as Tommy’s, before he tied our wrists to our ankles with a longer length. I nudged him again and tried to tickle him, which made him laugh – before the man took two white cloths, folded them and tied them round our heads, covering our mouths so that when we spoke, all we could do is mumble.
They turned the television on, and we had to watch the news while they made Mum and Dad go upstairs. I could see the rope on their wrists as they walked up, but with the second man sitting and watching us, all we could do was nudge each other and watch the television.
A little while later, the other man came down and they both left, Tommy lying down and resting his head on my lap. We were there for a good hour – two programs on the television – before my Gran came in and found us.
Mum and Dad had been left on the bed, their ankles tied as well, and scarves tied over their mouths – but they had no idea why the men did this to us…
Mom and I were putting up the Christmas tree when the men came. It was a couple of days before Christmas, and we had bought a wonderful new white tree with lots of silver baubles. The entire afternoon had been spent in fixing the tree up, Mom wearing a charcoal grey Alpha Chi sorority sweatshirt over a white blouse, a knee length skirt and black shoes, while I was wearing a white short sleeved blouse, red trousers with a lighter dot pattern, and white deck shoes.
Anyway – as I said, we had put the tree up, and as I got up from where I was kneeling Mom said she would go and get me a drink of milk. I nodded as I looked at the tree – and then turned round as Mom came back in.
With a woman wearing a set of orange coveralls, and a kitchen knife in her hand. She looked at me, and told me to sit on the long seat with my hands on my lap. Mom nodded and said I could have my drink when I did so, so I sat down and took the glass from her while she sat next to me.
The girl said she was sorry, but she needed a place to ‘lay low’ for a couple of hours, and she had to make sure we could not tell anyone she was there. I saw she had a new washing line Mom had bought the other day when out shopping, and as I drank my milk she cut the line into smaller lengths, and then used one of them to tie Mom’s wrists behind her back. I’d seen it in films at the drive-in when Mom and Pops had taken me.
Mom smiled and said that we would both be all right, as the girl took the glass from my hand, and then guided my arms behind my back. I felt the line on my wrists as she tied it round them – it felt funny, but it didn’t hurt.
She then knelt down in front of us, and tied my ankles together as well as my legs below my knees. It twisted my legs round as she did the same to Mom, and then at me on her lap before she used the last of the washing line to tie us together round our waists.
I rested my head on Mom’s chest, not afraid, but curious as to what was going to happen now. The girl looked at us, then rubbed my head before she went to the kitchen, and came back with two white napkins from the table. Rolling one of them into a band, she asked me to open my mouth, and as I did so she pulled the band between my lips, pressing my tongue down as she tied the band around my head. I looked up and watched as she did the same to Mom, her red lips closing over the white cloth.
She left us sitting on the couch, while she went up the stairs, and we both heard the water running upstairs. I looked up at Mom, but she was as confused as me, so she kissed my forehead and we both waited.
Eventually the girl came back down, wearing one of Mom’s dresses, and thanked us for the clothes and the money, before she left us to wait for Pop to come home…