After School Specials – Part 3
My mother was a huge fan of Laura Ashley, and of that whole country chic look that was around at the time. And what my mother was into, I had to be into as well as the dutiful eleven year old daughter. It caused a certain amusement amongst my friends, but I must admit I liked dressing in that way – my bedroom was all old style wooden furniture and patchwork covers, as well as my rag dolls.
And the day that man came to our house, it was in that theme he left us as well.
I had been to a friend’s house nearby, wearing one of my favourite outfits – a brown pinafore dress in an Edwardian style with a pink rose print, a long sleeved white blouse with a lace Peter Pan collar, and knee length straight black leather boots with a small square heel. My hair at that time was chestnut red, and cut in a page boy bob.
Anyway, it was getting dark when I came into the house, and called out to Mother. Father at that time worked until late, so he usually tucked me up in bed at night. There was no reply, but I figured she was asleep, and went to my room to read a book before dinner.
When I got to my room, however, I saw something was different – very different. My two largest rag dolls normally sat on my pillow, but they were on their sides, back to back – and someone had tied them together with lengths of string around their ankles, legs, waists and bodies. There was also strips of masking tape over their mouths.
My other dolls were sitting by the wall on my bed – but they also had string tied round them, and masking tape over their mouths. I was beginning to wonder if Mother had done this for some reason – and then a stranger said with a deep voice “do you like what I did to your dolls?”
I turned around to see a tall, dark haired man, wearing dark glasses and smiling at me. “I’ve just been taking to your mother,” he said, “and she said I should come and tell you what is happening.”
“Where is she,” I said, and he said I would join her in a few minutes – but what did I think of my dolls? I looked at them again, and saw that they looked as if they could not move.
“But why did you do this?”
“To show you,” he said quietly, “that there is nothing to be afraid of when I do it to you, because I need to make sure you cannot move or speak for a little while. Now, put your hands behind your back, and relax – I am not going to hurt you.”
I don’t know why, but he was right – seeing my dolls like that, I was less afraid as he crossed my wrists behind my back, and then used some rope to tie them tightly together. I could feel him taking it between my arms as well, before he tied it off and I wriggled my fingers.
He then took a longer length, and passed it round me, pulling it do that my arms were forced into my sides – but he did it very gently, and as he passed the rope round several times it made two bands, and felt like a big hug. He then tied two small lengths between my arms and body, and asked if I was all right. I nodded as I wriggled round, and then he told me to sit on the bed.
When I did that, he knelt and used more rope to tie my ankles tight together, side by side, again taking the rope between my legs which made it tighter. It didn’t hurt me, but when I tried to move my legs it made a funny squeaky sound.
He then folded my skirt up, and tied my legs together below my knees, so that they were held firmly together as well, before he helped me to stand up. “Let’s go and join your mother,” he said, as I nodded and he picked me up, carrying me in his arms into Mother and Father’s bedroom.
“Hlloddrlnlnn,” Mother said when I came in – she couldn’t say much else, because I presume the man had taken her brown patterned headscarf, rolled it into a band, tied a knot in the middle, and that knot was now in her mouth, the scarf tied round her head and holding her long dark hair down. She was lying on her side, wearing a fawn cardigan over a white blouse, a long peasant skirt with a brown floral pattern, black tights and black laced ankle boots – but like me, her hands were tied behind her back, and I could see the bands of rope on her upper body pulling the cardigan back. She also had her ankles, and I think her legs, tied like I did while the man put me on the bed.
He walked to the cupboard, and took out a green headscarf of Mother’s, rolled it into a band and tied a knot in the middle, before he told me to open my mouth as wide as I could. As he put the knot in, I could taste the cotton, and I looked round at all the open drawers and doors. Once he tied the band round my head, he helped me to lie down on my side and look at Mother, before he left us in the room.
It was a few hours before Father came back and found us – the man had stolen some of Mother’s jewellery, but she told me she had known I would get home before he left, so she told him to use string and masking tape on my dolls so I knew what would happen. It was nice – and I do it to my dolls still…
Mamma said I was a very brave girl that day, but at the time, I really did want to be like her, and to do everything she did. So, I did, and as scary as it should have been, it really was fun…
I was nine years old at the time, and we lived in Kent – Daddy worked in the city of London, so he left when I was having breakfast and came back when I was getting ready for bed normally. Mamma and I had been to the shops, and I was wearing a lovely chocolate brown dress, with white embroidery on the front and the cuffs, and a fawn jumper underneath. I also had on burgundy red leather boots, with a little cork heel, that came up to my knees.
Mamma’s jumper was black – the same shade of black as her long leather boots – while she also had on a brick red long sleeved dress with a wide brown leather belt round her waist.
So, we drove home, got out of the car, walked in – and two men were inside. They had what looked like Mamma’s stockings pulled over their heads, and one of them smiled as he told us both to remain quiet – he and his friend were going to stay for a while.
Mamma put her arms round me, and said in a scared voice we would do what they said, then told me we would be all right and she would make sure I was all right. I nodded as the second man took what looked like a roll of brown string from his pocket, and told me to put my wrists together in front of me.
I felt Mamma’s hands on my shoulders as he made a loop with the end of the string, and then took it round my wrists, pulling it so they were heled together and then winding it round and between my arms. When he was done, I could not move them apart, and then he told me to let my hands drop in front of me, before he wound the string round my waist so that I could not lift them up.
He then started to do the same to Mamma’s wrists, as I looked at both of the men. Apart from the things over their heads, they were wearing sports jackets over dark sweaters, dark trousers and leather shoes, as well as black leather gloves. Their hair was short, and they spoke with a London accent.
When Mamma’s wrists were fixed to her body as well, we were both told to sit down, and the second man produced two lengths of brown rope – which he tied round our upper arms and bodies, so that all we could do when he had finished was wriggled round.
Mamma looked at me and smiled, asking if I was all right – and I was. It was as I said, quite exciting – the ropes held my arms in place, and it was like I was a captive princess.
The telephone rang, and one of the men took Mamma by the arm into the hallway, while the second man came and stood behind me, and put his gloved hand over my mouth. He whispered that I was to be very quiet, and I nodded to show I understood, as I heard Mamma say there were two men holding us captive.
CAPTIVE? I titled my head back and looked up as the man nodded, and Mamma said we would be all right. She then came back in, as the man with her said we were doing very well.
Once the hand had gone from my mouth, I was told to stand up, and we were taken up the staircase, and into my parent’s room. The man told me to lie down on the bed - but Mamma never let me do that when I had boots or shoes on. I said that, and looked at her, but she smiled and said that just this once, I could do it, and she would as well.
So I sat on one side of the bed, and while one of the men took Mamma round the room, the other man took the string, and crossed my ankles before he tied them tightly together. He then folded back the hen of my dress, and tied my legs together below my knees, before he helped me to li with my head on the pillows.
I watched Mamma as she showed the man where her nice things were, before she lay on the other side of the bed. She looked at me and smiled, asking again if I was all right as the men tied her ankles and legs together as well, and then tied our ankles to the foot of the bed.
I nodded as I wriggled round, giggling at the squeaky sounds we were both making as we tried to move our legs. The men stood and talked for a few minutes, before we heard the telephone ring once. One of the men went downstairs, and then we heard it ring three times before it was answered.
The man who stayed with us then smiled as he took from his jacket pocket two strips of sticking plaster. Peeling the backing paper off one strip, he pressed it down over Mamma’s mouth, and as she turned to look at me I saw the shape of her lips under the brown fabric.
She nodded as he peeled the paper off the second strip, and then press it down over my mouth. I felt it pull on my skin, but it certainly stopped me from talking! I looked over at Mamma who turned on her side and rested her head on the pillow as I saw her lips turn into a smile under the brown fabric.
The two men left us there, and I heard them go down the stairs before the front door closed. I turned onto my side then and looked at Mum, as she leaned over and pressed the plaster on my head while she kissed me.
We were like that for a couple of hours I think, before we heard the door open and someone running up the stairs. When the door opened, Mamma said “Hfnnkkgddd” as a policeman came over and very carefully took the plaster off our mouths.
Daddy got home an hour later – he had been told to wait, and when nobody called he called the police. I was stiff, and I had to wash my face to get the sticky stuff off, but we were all right otherwise.
And, like I said, it was exciting…
It had been a wonderful party, and I was almost asleep as we drove home – we been my mother, my older sister Agatha, and me. Mom was wearing a peach coat mini dress with a matching wide head band, and white sandals, while Aggie was wearing a Western style pinafore dress with black and white checks, a short sleeved white blouse and white shoes.
As for me, I was dressed to the nines – a one piece shorts and top set in a multitude of coloured circles, and my favourite white go-go boots. I was also wearing my glasses – my eyesight not been that good even then.
If it had been, I’d have noticed the white van outside our house as we drove up the driveway, but then none of us did. Pops was away on business, so we had no reason to think anything was wrong.
Which was a mistake – because when I walked into the house, I was grabbed and a rough hand clamped over my mouth, an arm holding me tight as Mom and Aggie came in.
I saw two men grab them, and the light went on – and I saw three men, with stockings pulled down over their heads, two of them holding Mom and Aggie and covering their mouths with their hands as the third looked at all of us.
“Right,” he said in a Canadian accent, “you three do as we say, and you don’t get hurt, understand?”
Mom looked at us, and then nodded as he said “good – keep quiet, and put your hands behind your backs.”
“who are you,” Aggie asked as the hand came off my mouth, and my arms were yanked behind my back, as I felt whoever was holding me use some sort of cords to force my wrists together and keep them there.
It felt rough, and it hurt my wrists, but I was too scared to do or say anything as I watched the other two masked men tie my mom and sister’s wrists together behind their backs, and then use much longer ropes to tie their arms to their sides. The man who was tying me up didn’t do that – he tied some rope round my waist so my hands stayed behind me, and some round my upper arms, but that was all before he made me sit on the floor, and Aggie was made to lie on the couch.
I watched as he took more cords, and tied my ankles together, making sure he took the rope between my legs as well, and then my legs below my knees. The other man was tying Aggie’s ankles, and then her legs together, gathering her skirt round her legs as he did so, while the third man was standing with Mom and watching.
Eventually, he said “keep them quiet” as two of the men went upstairs with Mom, while one of the other two tore a strip of sticking plaster off a roll, and pressed it over my mouth, before he did the same to Aggie. He then sat and watched us as the other man emptied drawers.
The rope was hurting me, but I could only sit and watch until the other two men came down, and they all left. As the door closed, Aggie started struggling, managing to sit up, and then kneel on the floor as she shuffled to where Mom’s sewing basket was. It seemed to take an eternity, but eventually she managed to get a pair of scissors and cut her wrists free, then work her arms round and free herself.
“Are you all right,” she said as she peeled the plaster from her mouth, and then cut me free, hugging me as I took the tape from my own mouth. I then called the police as she went upstairs – she told me she found Mom lying on her side on her bed, bound and gagged as we had been, and the room was a mess…
Been a teenager in the Norfolk Broads in the sixties was not a fun thing – even if your mother and father were television presenters. Mine were, and we lived on a farm with my brother Joe. The thing I’m thinking of now happened when I was fourteen, and has always stuck in my mind as somewhat amusing, because of what we were all wearing that day.
And what we were wearing was white woollen Fair Isle sweaters for some article in a magazine. Joe and Dad were wearing normal sweaters, Joe with brown trousers and grey shoes, Dad with blue trousers and black shoes. They looked alike, with short black hair, while Mum had vivid red hair cut short. My hair was reddish brown, and long, but the photographers wanted us both to be ‘with it’ as he put it, so my hair was platted into two pigtails which hung down my head.
Our jumpers were also different – longer, like dresses, which came halfway down to our knees. I was still a bit young, so I wore a pair of white wool tights and black Mary Jane style shoes. Mum, on the other hand, had a chocolate brown leather belt loosely round her waist, and a pair of matching knee length leather boots which laced up at the front.
Anyway – the photographer took the pictures, and left us in our farmhouse. I remember watching as he drove off, the headlights of his car fading into the distance – and then the rough face that said “I thought he’d never leave – get your hands in the air, all of you.”
I turned round to see three men pointing what looked like shotguns, but with the barrels cut off near the butt, at all four of us as Dad and Joe stood up. They had black ski masks over their heads, so that we could only see their eyes and mouths, and wore blue boiler suits, while a fourth man came in carrying a large leather bag.
“All of you,” the man who had spoken said “on the floor, on your knees, and hands behind your back.” Well, we were too scared to do anything other than what he said, as the man opened the bag and took out four lengths of rough brown rope.
“Don’t hurt my children,” Mum said as he walked behind us, and one by one we had our wrists tied together behind our backs. I remember still to this day how rough the cords felt on my wrists, as it was pulled tight.
“We’re taking the men folk to the study,” he said as one of the men pulled Dad and Joe to their feet, “make sure the ladies can’t call for help.”
I looked at Mum, as she said “be brave Angel” while we were forced to our feet. Mum was made to lie face down on a leather couch we had, while I was forced to sit in an armchair, one of the two men covering us with his gun as the other knelt in front of me, crossed my ankles and tied them tightly together with more of the same rough rope.
He then tied my legs together below my knees, before he bent my legs and made me put my feet on the seat. Taking more of the rope, he tied my arms to my sides, and then a length from that rope to the one below my knees, so that I was forced to stay in that position.
“Not a word,” he rasped as he went over to Mum, and crossed her ankles before he tied them together. I’ll never forget the squeaking sound her boots made, as he tied her legs together below her knees, and then bent her legs back, tying her ankles to her wrists so that she couldn’t move.
I could hear the other two men shouting in the back of the house, but neither of us could move from the seats now – or speak, once the man had torn strips of silver tape from a roll and pressed them firmly over our mouths, making it difficult to say much at all.
Eventually, one of the men took the bag to where Dad and Joe were, before all four of them walked out of the house, Mum and me looking at each other and wondering what we were going to do next. It was getting dark, and I was still scared.
Mum tried to move, but it was impossible – all we could do was watch the clock as the minutes ticked away…
We could hear the others groaning and trying to talk in the back of the house, and I assumed they were as unable to move and talk as we were. My fear was, we were in the middle of nowhere, and I could see the telephone smashed on the floor, the socket in the wall empty. What were we going to do?
We were lucky, however – a police car was passing when they noticed our front door was open, they stopped and came in – freeing us all before calling an ambulance and taking our statements…
All four of us were visiting my Aunt Grace after school, to ask her some questions for an assignment about people who are famous. You see, she’s a reporter on the local ABC station, and has covered some very serious stories.
I was wearing a pale pink long sleeveless waistcoat and a matching short skirt, with a long sleeved white blouse as well, and shiny knee length black leather boots, my light brown hair brushed back. Katy had ginger hair and glasses, and was wearing an aqua blue jumper under a brown checked pinafore dress which came to above her knees, as well as long orange socks and a pair of brown leather boots that were laced up the front.
Angel was also wearing a pinafore dress, but hers had a red grey and white tartan pattern, and was designed to look like it wrapped round her with buttons up the front. She had a red jumper on under that, and a pair of long stretchy white PVC boots with a strap round her leg below her knee. Finally, Sammy was also wearing long white boots, leather ones in her case that zipped up the inside, with a lilac short sleeved top that had a red zip at her neck, and a matching short pleated skirt.
For a group of eleven year olds, we looked good, as we walked up the path to Aunt Grace’s front door. I could see her Pontiac outside, so I opened the door and we all walked in, then into the front room – and dropped our books on the floor as Aunt Grace looked at us.
She was sitting in a high-backed chair, wearing a white dress with a multi-coloured fruit print on it – but she was tied to that chair, ropes around her body and the chair back, her ankles tied together and to one of the front legs, and her arms round the back of the chair. A white scarf was also tied over her mouth and round her head, as she shook her head and said “gttuuttggrrllsss!”
“Oh great – four friends of yours?”
We turned round to see three men in suits and hats, one of them smiling as he said “well, I guess we’ll need to keep them hostage as well. Go and see if you can find some scarves – in the meantime,” he said as he looked at Angel and Katy, “you sit back to back on the floor, and you two girls sit on the couch, hands on your head.”
“Who are you,” I said as Sammy and I sat down.
“We were just getting something of yours this lady had – but you had to walk in. Both of you,” he said then as he looked at Katy and Angel, “reach your arms out behind you and round your friend’s waist. Get something to make sure they stay there.”
“Oh god,” Sammy whispered as the second man took two lengths of cord from a bag, and tied Angel’s wrists together in front of Katy’s tummy, “we’re going to be tied up.”
“I know,” I whispered, “but we don’t have a choice, do we?” We had to watch, aunt Grace struggling in the chair, as both of our friends had their wrists tied together, then their ankles were crossed and secured with more rope, and their legs below their knees, before Katy’s wrists were tied to Angel’s knees, and Angel’s wrists to Kat’s knees.
He then walked over and took out a long length of rope, and tied them together at their waists, as the third man came back with four scarves. They rolled up two white ones, and then pulled them into Angel’s and Kat’s mouths, pulling the corners of their mouths backs they were tied round their heads, and their lips closed over it.
“Right – you two,” the man said as he looked at me and Sammy, “stand up, turn round, and put your hands behind your back.”
“We need to do as they say,” I whispered as we stood up, and I felt my arms as they were taken behind my back, and my wrists tied together with the cord, Sammy sobbing as her wrists were tied as well. Our arms were then tied to our stomachs with the rope making something like a double figure of eight, so that we could not move them.
“Thrrrjssllttlgrsls,” Aunt Grace said, but the man shook his head as I was helped to sit back in a seat, and Sammy taken over to the couch behind Angel and Katy. As we sat down, our ankles were crossed and tied tightly together, and then our legs below our knees, before a blue scarf was rolled up and pulled between my lips. It tasted funny, but it kept my tongue down as the band was tied tightly round my head, and then I was helped to sit with my legs under me, one last length of rope securing my ankles to my wrists.
Sammy had a purple scarf tied in her mouth, before she was made to lie down, her legs bent slightly and then her ankles tied to her wrists as well. One of the men stayed and watched us as the other two left the room, I presume to look round the house.
We all tried to move, the squeak of our boots and our muffled attempts to talk the only sounds, with Aunt Grace shaking her head as she tried to get free as well, but it was useless. Eventually, the three men left, as the telephone rang and rang again.
An hour passed with us like this, and I could see dark patches in the mouths of all of my friends and on Aunt Grace’s gag, before I heard the door open and my mom call out “Grace? Are you and the girls here?”
“NNHRRRRRRR” we all called out, Mom gasping as she saw us, and then coming to untie us…
We’d been out for a family meal at a local restaurant – Mom was wearing a black dress and stilettos, and Dad a plum suit with a brown shirt and tie. I have two older sisters and an older brother – Ted, my brother, had on a mustard coloured jumper, checked trousers and black shoes, Tess a purple mini dress with lighter trim and April a blue pinafore-style mini dress which had a grey checked sleeves and neck. Both of them had on light tights and short white go-go boots as well.
And me? I was wearing a dusky pink velvet mini dress, with white fur collar and cuffs, white tights and black leather boots that came almost to my knee.
Anyway – we got home, and Ted and I went into the front room while the others went upstairs. A few minutes later, Mom came in with Tess and April, and asked if we would join them in playing a game before we went to bed.
Ted asked what sort, of game, and Tess said it was cops and robbers – she and April would be the robbers, who had to tie us up to stop us from stopping them robbing the place.
Well, we’d played these sort of games before, but I looked to Mom, and she nodded to say she was happy with this. So Ted and I both lay face down on the floor, and up tour hands behind our back, while Mom handed Tess and April a length of white cord.
For some reason, Tess’ hands were shaking as she put my hands together, palm to palm, and then wrapped the rope around and between my wrists so that they were held together. I looked over at Ted, but he was smiling as April tied his wrists together.
Tess then crossed my ankles and tied them together, and I giggled as I heard the squeak as my boots rubbed against each other, Ted giggling as well. Mom then said they were going to add one more rope before we were kept quiet, and I felt Tess pull my ankles back, and tie them to my wrists as well.
Well, that was different, and I saw Ted biting his lip as that was done to him by April, but it did mean we were staying there. I looked up as Mom handed Tess and April two of her headscarves – a pink one for me, and a black one for Ted – which they rolled into bands, and then pulled between our teeth before securing the ends together at the base of our necks.
Mom told us to wait until the front door was opened and closed before we tried to escape, and I nodded as they left the room. I could hear her talking to a man outside – I thought it was Dad – before she said “now you need to be captured – in the dining room girls.”
We heard them moving round, then Mom going up stairs, and someone going down again, before the front door opened and closed. Ted and I looked at each other, the dark stain between his lips, and then we shuffled closer and rolled back to back as we started to try and free each other.
That took half an hour, and then we went to the dining room – to find Tess and April tied tightly to two of the chairs, and tape over their mouths. It was only after I took the tape from Tess’ mouth that she said we had been robbed, and to go next door to raise the alarm…
It was a stupid dare that my brother made – I had no idea what was going to happen, honestly!
Simone and I were fifteen at the time, and we were in the same class at High School. Jimmy knew we were coming back to my place to work on an assignment, and he was due to go to a Scout meeting, so we would be on our own for an hour or so before Mom or Dad got home.
I was wearing a mustard coloured long sleeved blouse, with a brown patterned skirt, white tights and mid-length chocolate brown boots, while Simone had on a brown mini dress with a zig-zag pattern, and a scarf tied loosely at the neck, as well as long sleeved brown jumper over the top. She also had on sheer brown hose and flat brown shoes.
So when we got to my home, and went into the kitchen, Jimmy was sitting there in his scout uniform, reading a book. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he had a test on ropework at the meeting that night. Simone shook her head as I got us both a drink of milk, and we sat at the table, telling him we had work to do.
Well, he said he had as well, and that was when he did it. He said he wanted to prove he could tie really tight knots, so that whatever was tied could not move. Simone said she bet he could not, and that’s when he said he bet he could tie us to our chairs so that we could not get up.
I know, I know – I should have stopped it there and then, but Simone had that fire in her eyes, and accepted the bet, as Jimmy ran off to get some of Dad’s ropes from the garage. I asked her if she knew what we were letting ourselves in for, but she laughed and said it would be fine, he couldn’t be that good.
Well… He came in, and told Simone to put her arms round the chair back. She looked at me and shook her head – then raised an eyebrow as he used a skipping rope to tie her wrists together, and then tie them to the chair back by anchoring them to the central spar.
Ge came over and did the same to me – and I was surprised not just at how tight it was, but how little it hurt – even if when he had finished, I could not find the knots or the ends of the rope with my fingers.
He then knelt in front of Simone, and as I watched he doubled a length of rope over, and used it to bind her ankles together. I noticed how he took the rope around, and kept the coils on top of each other, before he separated the ends and took them between her legs, tying the ends together behind her legs.
Once he had done the same to me, I tried moving my legs apart- which made my boots rub together, making them squeak as Simone giggled – and then gasped. I looked over to see Jimmy had tied one end of a long length of rope to the point where her seat met the chair back, and was winding it tightly round her upper body, trapping her arms and her own back against the chair.
Well, that was when I told Jimmy he had done enough, and he should let us go now – which should have been enough. Except when he tied the other end of the rope off, he picked up a peach napkin from the table, rolled it up, and pulled it between my lips before he tied it round my head!
Simone was giggling as she watched him tie my upper body to the chair back as well, swinging her legs to and fro – and then mumbling as he used another napkin to keep her quiet, stepping back and saying we could try to move now.
Not a chance! We looked at each other, me seeing the damp patch between Simone’s lips, as Jimmy looked at his watch, shouted he was late – and ran out, leaving us there!
He also forgot to close the front door properly – so when the stranger came into the kitchen, he looked at us and giggled, before leaving us alone as he stole Mom’s jewellery. Jimmy was in real trouble when he got home…
While it did not turn out quite the way I had thought it would, it still meant all four of us came closer together. We were in our final year at school, and were a study group for History work as well as close friends. So when I suggested we spent an afternoon that Saturday at my place, studying both History and Drama, all three agreed.
I was seventeen at the time, with shoulder length red-brown hair, and that day I was wearing a striped and hooded jumper over a white blouse with a thin collar, a grey pleated skirt, and knee length crinkled black leather boots with a stack sole and heel. Mum had gone shopping, and when the doorbell rang I went and let Susan in. She was wearing a dark grey ribbed jumper and a pleated matching skirt, with a white blouse under her jumper, and brown leather cowboy style boots that went to her knees as well.
I told her we were going to keep our boots on, as she put her bag on the dining table and took her books out, while I went to let Sandra in. The redhead had on a black jumper over a light brown blouse, a long and flowing grey skirt, and long dark grey suede boots – and as she came in, Pauline came up the garden path, wearing a white jumper over a grey dress, and long black leather boots.
So I made us all some coffee, and we sat down for an hour and a half to thrash out our History homework. Once that was done, we moved on to Drama – and I explained my idea.
We were studying a play about a robbery, and I suggested to the other three the best way to understand what the people in the play must be feeling is to feel what it is like to be tied up. Now, they had no idea I’d been tying myself up for some time, but after some initial misgivings they accepted the idea, so we took our chairs into the front room and arranged them in a circle.
Sandra went first, and sat in the chair, he others watching as I took her arms around the chair back, and tied her wrists together with a length of washing line I had cut earlier, before I secured the ends to the chair back. She tried moving her arms, and nodded as she said it felt as if she was going nowhere, while I knelt down and tied her ankles together, the cord sinking into the suede as I took it around and between her legs. Finally, I pulled her legs to the side and tied them to the front leg of the chair.
At which point, Pauline and Susan started to tickle the captive, Sandra laughing out loud before Pauline sat down and I tied her wrists and ankles together, as well as to her chair. Susan then was secured, and I left them talking to each other while I went and tidied up the books on the table.
When I came back in, however, Sandra asked the killer question – who was going to tie me to the chair? Which was the moment when Mum came in and saw us. The fortunate thing was, she knew about what I had been playing, so I asked her, and a few minutes later I was also tied hand and foot, twisting in the chair like m three friends.
It helps when your mother is a Brown Owl, of course…
So she left us talking for a while, while she went to put away the shopping she had bought. And that was fun. Different, but fun.
What was not fun was when the man came in, a scarf tied over the lower half of his face, and called over his shoulder that we were tied to chairs in the front room. A gruff voice replied to “gag them” – and as he took a roll of sticking plaster from his jacket pocket, I knew something very different was happening.
But what could we do? We had to watch as one by one we all had a strip of brown plaster pressed over our mouths, while through the door I saw a second masked man force Mum to go up the stairs, and I could see her wrists were held together behind her back as well.
We just had to sit there, too scared to say anything or do anything as the man watched us, before his partner came down and they both left the house – but not before the ripped the phone away from the wall.
We each tried to free ourselves, but Mum has made the knots too tight on me, and I had done the same to the others. As we twisted round, the chairs, our boots, our bodies creaked, and I felt the sweat flowing down me. It didn’t help though – not even with the plaster over my mouth, which stayed stuck no matter how much I tried to twist my mouth round.
It was two more hours before Dad got home from the game, found us and released us. Mum had been left tied and gagged in their bedroom, and they had taken her jewels…