After School Specials – part 4









It was the middle of summer, and Mummy and me had been to the market.  I was wearing a red tartan pinafore dress with a short sleeved top underneath, red tights and short white boots, my brown hair cut in a bob and new glasses on.  Mummy had longer dark hair, and was wearing a short dress – it was white with a pale purple paisley pattern on it, and a winged collar, and buttoned up the front, and she was wearing knee length white boots.


We were talking to each other about the upcoming gala day as we walked home, Mummy carrying a wicker basket with fresh fruit and veg inside, not a care in the world.  She unlocked our front door, and we walked into the kitchen – to see the back door was open.


Before I could say anything, someone grabbed me from behind and put a rough hand over my mouth, Mummy turning and screaming as she saw whoever was holding me.  I heard a deep male voice tell her to shut up, or I…  I would get hurt?


That was when I really got scared, as Mummy nodded – I could see her start to cry as she pleaded with the man not to hurt me, and then at his command we were walked into the front room, and I watched as she closed the curtains over the windows.  I could smell something from the man – a stale smell – as Mummy sat down on the couch, and I was pushed towards her, the man telling me to put my hands behind my back and telling Mummy to put her hands on her head.


I felt him pull my hands behind me, and then something thin as it was pulled tight round my wrists, holding them together as Mummy put her hands on her head and watched.  It hurt, but I was brave, as the man made me stand to the side and warned me to be quiet, as I got my first look at him.


He was big – high and wide – and wearing a denim jacket and jeans, as I watched him kneel down and tie Mummy’s ankles together with twine, using a knife to cut it free from a roll before he knotted it off.  When he stood up, he picked me up and sat me on Mummy’s lap, telling her to hug me and then tying my ankles together as well.  It was just as tight as my wrists, but because I was wearing my white boots it didn’t hurt as much, and Mummy’s hugs made it a little better.


He then tied Mummy’s wrists together, and finally tied them to my ankles, before he turned the radio up high, and walked out of the room, pulling our telephone out of the wall before he went upstairs.  I leaned back and looked at Mummy, who smiled as she told me I was a very brave girl, and kissed my head as she wriggled round.


The man came back a few minutes later, with a roll of brown sticking plaster which I knew had been in the bathroom.  Mummy asked what he was doing, as he tore a strip off, and then he leaned over me as Mummy suddenly started to mumble.  I looked up to see the brown plaster over her mouth, and then looked at the man as he stuck a second strip over my mouth.


Then he left – and we were stuck there until Daddy came home a few hours later…




I live in Amsterdam, and this happened when I was a ten year old girl.  It was a warm day, and I was at home with Mama waiting for my Grandma to visit.  I had a page boy cut then, and was wearing a cream top with red trim and wheels on it, as well as red pants.  Mama was wearing a short-sleeved dress with a blue top, red middle and yellow short skirt.  She wore glasses, and had long hair the same colour as mine.


Anyway, we were sitting in the back garden on some chairs, having a drink, when Mama heard the front door bell and went to answer it.  I closed my eyes, feeling the sun on my face, and then heard Mama tell me to look at her.  When I did, I got the fright of my life – there was a man with her, with a gun in his hand, and a black mask over his eyes.


That was when someone put a gloved hand over my mouth, and told me very quietly to be still, and put my hands together in front of me.  Mama nodded to show I was to do this, while the man with her took from his pocket a roll of silver tape, handed it to her, and told her to tape my wrists together.  She spoke to me, told me to be brave and everything would be all right, as she wound the tape round – it pulled at my skin, but I nodded and said nothing as she did this, and then was told to tape my ankles together.


Once she had done that, the man with Mama made her sit in her chair, and put her arms palm down on the armrests, before he took the silver tape and made sure her arms stayed there, the other person keeping their hand over my mouth the whole time.  He then knelt down and taped her ankles to the front legs of the chair, before he tore a strip from the roll and pressed it firmly over her mouth.  She opened her eyes and looked at me, before the man tore another strip off and told whoever was behind me to take their hand away.


Before I could speak, he pressed the tape over my mouth, keeping my lips together and me quiet, then he passed the roll to whoever was behind me, and they wrapped it round my body, holding my arms to my sides and my back to the chair, all while Mama watched helpless.


And then we both heard Grandma saying she was coming round.  We could only watch as she came round, wearing a sleeveless short dress in pale blue with dark blue flowers, and sandals.  She stared at us, and then raised her hands as I saw a masked woman walk over, and bring her to the spare seat where we were.


You can guess what happened next – they taped Grandma in the same way as Mama, and covered her mouth with tape, before the man kept a watch on us and the woman went into the house.  We looked at each other, unable to do much more than make the tape crinkle and try to speak, for about half an hour – until the masked woman waved from the back door, and the man left us there as the clouds covered the sun.


I was glad of that – and the fact it didn’t rain – as it was another hour before a neighbour found us.  The woman had taken Mama’s jewellery and some money, but apart from been stiff and sore, at least none of us were hurt…




Lola looked at me and tried to say something, but it came out muffled and garbled – not surprising, given the long thin scarf with the orange and brown print she had had tied loosely round her neck was now tied between her lips, keeping her tongue down.  She was wearing a peach pinafore dress over a long sleeved white top, white tights and short black leather boots, but her wrists and ankles were crossed and tied together with rope, her legs tied together below her knees, and then her wrists tied to her knees as she sat against the long couch.


Keisha was sat next to her, her bright eyes shining as she looked at me.  Our friend was wearing a red and grey tartan pinafore over a peach coloured blouse with a wide collar, matching tights and knee length black leather boots, but she was tied in exactly the same way as Lola, and a rolled up white scarf tied between her lips.


I remember the dark patch between her lips as she and Lola looked at Katy.  We were Katy’s only real friends – she was the new girl, a bit fat, a bit shy, but we had befriended her and invited her home today – and this happened.  She had two orange ribbons that kept her long brown hair in pigtails, and had on an orange dress with grey trim, white tights and mid-calf brown boots – but they were squeaking like Lola’s and Keisha’s as she tried to move, and pleaded with the masked man not to tie the rolled up red scar fin his hands between her lips.


No god, thought – he just pulled it into her mouth and tied it tightly round her head, while the second man finished ting m tied wrists to my knees.  I had on a brown peasant blouse, a grey knee length skirt and knee length brown suede boots – but they had tied me in the same way, and then the man pulled a brown scarf between my lips and tied it round my head.


So here we all were, tied up and scarf gagged in my front room – and how did we end up like this?  Glad you asked…


As I said, we’d invited Katy to my place to hang out after school, but we came in Mom was here – and so were three men, dressed in dark clothes, and with scarves tied over their mouths.  One of them had Mom’s arms behind her back, and when we came in the other two pointed guns at us, and told us to be quiet and sit on the floor, hands on our knees. 


Mom was wearing a blue dress with puffed sleeves and a short skirt, as well as black suede boots, but as we sat down /I could see him passing some rope around her – and there was a lot more rope coming out of the bags as one of the other two men watched over us.  Mom told us to be brave, as the second man picked up the rope, crossed Lola’s wrists on her knees, and tied them tightly together while we watched.  He walked round and tied the wrists of all of us as we started to cry, and then tied our ankles together as well.


He then rolled up the white scarf, and was going to use it on Lola, but she shook her head and said she had trouble breathing sometimes, so he used it in on Keisha instead while the man with Mom took her upstairs, and the third man took Lola’s scarf off and tied that between her lips.  Then tied the legs of my two friends below their knees, and secured their wrists to that rope, before they took care of Katy and me.


The scarf in my mouth was getting wet as we looked at each other, before the man came back down without Mom, but with a pillow case that jangled as he carried it.  He looked at all four of us, and then all three left us with the television on, and Mom still upstairs.


We tried talking to each other, but all we could do was make muffled noises, and then Katy started to wriggle herself across the floor.  I wondered where she was going, until I saw her move to Mom’s sewing box, and she managed somehow to open it, and then to get a pair of Mom’s scissors in her hand.  She then turned round, and shuffled to Lola, before she began to try and cut her free.


It took a while, but she managed it, Lola pulling the scarf from her mouth and hugging our brave friend, and then cutting her free before she went next door.  Katy rubbed her wrists, and then cut me and Keisha free before Lola returned with Mr Black, our next door neighbour.  He told us he had called the police, and to stay down here, while he went upstairs with the scissors. 


When the officer came in, he walked down with Mom, who hugged us all and said he would talk to the other parents - after we had talked to the police…




It was a wet Saturday, and my fifteen year old sister Beth had been lumbered with babysitting us while Mum and Dad went shopping.  I was eleven, and was wearing a brown checked waistcoat and short skirt, with a white top, brown socks and flat shoes.  I also had on my black glasses – which made me look like Velma from Scooby Doo.


My twelve year old sister Val was also bored – she had on a short sleeved patchwork top, a short denim skirt and black go-go boots.


So Beth said we should go into our rooms, and watch television.  She was waiting for her boyfriend – cue barfing – and had on a purple blouse and patterned skirt.  So Val and I went upstairs, and read our books when we heard the knock on the front door.  We could hear Beth open it, and her talking, and then nothing for a few minutes.


Val said she was going to go down and get a drink, and did I want one?  I shook my head as she left the room and walked down the stairs – and then I heard her call out “Whhhmmmm…”  I wondered what had happened, so I came down the stairs myself – and got the shock of my life.


Beth was sat in one of our wooden armchairs – but her wrists were held together and to the arm of the chair with Sellotape, and her ankles were taped together – and a strip was pressed over her mouth.  And a man was holding Val, his hand over his mouth, dressed in denim and with dark glasses on!


“Okay kid,” he said as he looked at me, “no screaming, no calling out, or your sister gets it.  See that roll of clear tape?”  I nodded as he said “good – pick it up, and tape your sister’s wrists together.”


I had no choice, did I – I took the roll and told Val to be brave as I taped her wrists together, and then she sat down on the floor as the man made me tape her ankles, and then her wrists to her knees as she sat with her legs bent. 


He then grabbed the roll from me and did the same to me, as Val twisted round, her boot squeaking and the tape crinkling – and the same sound came for Beth as I was taped up.  He then covered our mouths with the tape, as we looked at each other, and he started to search the house.


When he ran out a few minutes later, we all tried to get free, but the tape was too sticky – Beth, however, somehow managed to get the Sellotape off her mouth, and started shouting for help.  That was when the man ran in – and we were freed…




I loved purple when I was eleven years old – and so did my mummy, so when the bad men came, we were very brave and wore the same colour.  It was a school day, and I was wearing a purple waistcoat and skirt with a purple floral print top, and knee length red leather boots.  Mummy had promised me a special surprise after school, so I got back as quickly as I could and walked into the house.


When I got in, Mummy was in out front room – Daddy worked in the city, and did not get home until later.  She had on a purple dress with a long sleeved purple jumper underneath, dark tights and black shoes, her long hair over her shoulders – and she gave me a big hug as I came to her.


And that was when he came in – without warning, and pointed a large knife at us as he swore and told us both to be quiet.  Mum held me and asked him what he wanted, and he said money, and to get away – and then he saw Mummy’s knitting basket.  He told her to take a ball of blue wool, and tie my wrists together in front of me with it.


Well, I was scared, but Mummy said everything would be all right, and to put my hands together in prayer.  That’s what I did – pray as she wrapped the wool round my wrists to keep them together, cut a length off, and then tied a knot.


The man then told her to do the same to my ankles, so she did – the leather made a funny squeaky noise as I tried to move, but they were tied tight.  He then told me to sit back on the couch, before he took the wool from Mummy and the scissors she had used.  He tied her wrists together, and then took the wool down and tied her ankles as well so that they were linked together. He then looked at us, and told us to be quiet while he pocketed the scissors, and walked out – cutting the telephone wire as he did so.


Mummy rubbed her cheek on my head, and told me to be a brave girl, before he came back.  His pockets were jingling, and he had two of Mummy’s scarves in his hand – a purple and a white one.  He rolled the purple one into a band, and tied it between Mummy’s lips, before he did the same with the purple one to me.


And then he left – Daddy found us later, me asleep and Mummy looking at him…




We lived in Aviemore then – it was just a little town, before the skiing started – in a house just outside.  Daddy was a GP, and Mummy looked after me at home.  It had been snowing, and when we came home from primary school we both had thick coats on. I was wearing a white blouse under a pinafore dress with alternating strips of blue checks and dark blue with a floral pattern, and over that a thick knitted cardigan with yellow, cream and blue stripes. I also had a red headscarf with white polka dots tied over my hair, to keep it warm.


Mummy had on under her coat a red cardigan with silver brass buttons, over a dress that had white and blue stripes and red squares with a flower.  We both had one walking boots as well, given it was snowing – and I wanted to have some milk when we got in.


Daddy had a little pharmacy next to the surgery, and as we went into the house, Mummy told me he had been called out to a farm to see to someone, and would not be back until late.  I wished that had not happened when we walked in – and found someone looking round our parlour!


Mummy put her arms round me and asked what the man was doing, but then I saw the light glint on one of our carving knives as he held it in his hand.  He looked distracted, as he stared at us, and then looked at me, before he told us to do what he said, or he would hurt us.  Mummy hugged me more tightly, and quietly said not to panic, we’d do what he said.


He waved the knife at us and told Mummy to sit in a rocking chair, and to put her arms on the rest.  Mummy kissed me and sat down, before the man told me to sit on Mummy’s lap – so I took my boots off and did so, as the man looked round, and took from his pocket a big roll of sticking plaster.


I watched as he wrapped the brown plaster round Mummy’s wrists and the arms of the rocking chair, keeping them together, and then knelt down and put her ankles together, before he wrapped the sticking plaster round them as well.  He then put my ankles together – I was wearing white tights, so it didn’t stick to my skin, but it was tight as he made sure I could not move my ankles apart.


He then taped my wrists together in front of me – and that did hurt, pulling on the bare skin on my wrists as they were held firmly together.  I tested them round, looking at the brown band, and then looked at Mummy – as the man pressed a strip of the brown plaster over her mouth, and then looked at me.


I could see he had used all the sticking plaster up, as Mummy said something and shook her head.  I couldn’t understand what she was saying – and then he looked at me, and took my headscarf off, untying the ends and then rolling it into a band, as he told me to open my mouth.  I looked at Mummy, who looked at him and then nodded, so I opened my mouth – and then tasted the cloth as he pulled the band between my lips and tied it round my head.


It felt funny and tasted funny – but I put my head on Mummy’s chest and looked up as she leaned down and pressed her plastered lips on my forehead.  We then watched as the man looked through the other cabinets in the room, and then went out.  Mummy tried to move, but I was on her lap, as we listened to him in what I realised was Daddy’s office.


He then ran out as Mummy looked to the door, and then twisted round again.  I could feel the scarf in my mouth getting wetter as I looked at her, but she could not get her arms free, so I looked at her and asked something.  I wanted to say I wasn’t scared, but it did not sound like that.


So I turned round and sat across Mummy’s lap, putting my head on her chest as we sat there, wondering how long it would take Daddy to come home…





It was a bit frightening, but looking back on it I guess I was excited for a while as well.  I was ten at the time, and me and Mom were visiting my Gran at her house.  I remember it was later in the summer, and I was wearing a blur sleeveless dress with white trim, and a red and blue panel skirt that came to above my knees.  It had a white rope belt that was tied round my waist, and I also had on white bobby sox and black shoes.


Mom was wearing a purple sleeveless dress, with a brown rope belt tied round her waist, and matching heels, and the wind blew in our hair as she drove our open top to Gran’s house.  We both had long brown hair, and we liked the feel of the wind on our heads.


Gran lived in a bungalow on the outskirts of the town, and she was standing in the door to greet us as we pulled in.  She had grey hair cut short, and wore glasses, as well as a sleeveless floral print dress that came to her knees and white heels.  I gave her a hug as we came in, and then sat in her front room on a long white couch while she went to get some drinks.


I didn’t think we’d spend the rest of the afternoon there…


Mom and I sat on the couch, the way she had taught me with my ankles together and to the sides as we heard Gran in the kitchen – then we heard her gasp, and then nothing.  Mom was about to go and see what had happened when she came in – with two men I did not know.  They were smartly dressed – with suits, shirts, ties, polished shoes – and gloves as well as dark glasses.


One of them was holding Gran by her arm – her hands were behind her back, and a white napkin had been rolled up and tied round her head, as well as between her lips.  The second man looked at us – and then he pointed a gun at Mom, then told us we both had to do as he and his friend said.


We both looked at Gran, who nodded before she was made to sit next to Mom, and she was told to lean forward and put her hands behind her back.  As she did, I watched as the man took a length of white cord from his pocket, and walked behind the couch before he crossed Mom’s wrists behind her back, then started to tie them together with the white rope.


I looked at the second man, who was standing in front of us, and asked him if he was a robber.  He smiled and nodded as Mom told me to be a brave girl, and then the second man told me to lean forward, and put my hands behind my back.


I was a little scared, but he was gentler than I expected as hr crossed my wrists, and then I felt the rope around my wrists.  It was soft, and tight, and when he had finished I could not move my arms apart.


He then walked in front of us and knelt down, taking yet more rope from his pocket and then tying my ankles together side by side.  I watched as he doubled the rope, wrapped it round and pulled my ankles together, then wrapped it round my ankles over my socks before he passed the rope between my legs, and tied it off.  It was comfy, and I looked over as he crossed Mom’s ankles, and then tied them tightly together as well.


Gran grunted as he tied her ankles, and then winked at me as he stood up, taking the gun as the second man walked out, and came back with two of Gran’s big white napkins.  He put one on my lap, then walked behind Mom as he rolled the other one up, and told her to open her mouth.  She said we would talk about it later, and then she opened her mouth as he pulled the band between her lips, and tied it round her head.  He then reached over and picked up the napkin on my lap, and told me to open my mouth.


The cotton tasted funny on my tongue as he pulled it between my lips, and it kept my teeth apart, but I saw Mom and Gran smiling at me, so I stayed still as it pressed my cheeks in while he tied the ends together.  He then sat in a chair, watching all three of us as his friend went to all the other rooms of the house.


We looked at each other, and I could see a dark stain in Gran’s mouth in the cloth, and a smaller one in Mom’s.  I know the cloth between my lips was feeling damper, as we heard the sound of things been pulled out or opened.


When the man came back, he had some more lengths of rope – I found out later they had found some cotton washing line in the kitchen, and had cu tit into lengths – before he used one to tie my legs together below my knees, then did the same to Mom and Gran. 


He then took a really long length and tied it round Gran’s arms and body.  Mom looked at the second man and shook her head as she tried to say something, but he nodded and said don’t worry, the kid won’t have this.


I wondered why I was been left out when the man did the same thing to Mom, the long length forming two bands as he arms were forced into her sides, and her dress stretched a little.  She looked at me as he tied the rope off, and nodded as I wriggled round, before the two men got up and left the house.


We had to sit there until Pops came to meet us there, and found us with damp cloths in our mouths, and unable to move…




I was fifteen the day the men called at our home – it was a Saturday, and I was working on an assignment in my room.  I remember I was wearing a blue mini dress, with elbow length sleeves and a brown trim, white tights and dark brown Mary Jane shoes.  My ten year old sister Grace was also at home – when I had gone upstairs, she was watching cartoons on the television.  She was dressed a bit like Mum, with a short-sleeved orange dress, a white lace collar round her neck, white tights and knee length brown go-go boots.


As for Mum, she was wearing a fawn coloured waistcoat and short skirt, with a white blouse with a frilly front under the waistcoat, and matching fawn heels.  I could hear her in the kitchen, cleaning up, when there was a knock on the front door.


I didn’t think too much of it, as I concentrated on my Civics work, but then there was a knock on my door, and Mum put her head round the door, and asked if I would come downstairs for a few minutes.  Well, it was Mum asking, so I put my pencil down and followed her into the front room – where three things struck me.


The first was that the drapes had been pulled across the windows.


The second was that there was a man standing there, wearing a dark suit, dark glasses and leather gloves – and he was holding a black briefcase.


And the third was a second man, dressed the same way, holding Grace with his gloved hand over her mouth.


I looked at Mum, as the man asked her if that was everyone, and she nodded before saying we had to do what the men said.  The other guy then let go of Grace, as she ran over and hugged Mum while the first man opened the case, took out a length of white curtain cord and handed it to me.  I held it, wondering why he was giving me it – and then Mum told me I was to tie Grace’s wrists together behind her back.


I shook my head, but Mum told me if I didn’t do it, the men would, so I nodded and told Grace to turn round, and to be very brave.  As she did so, I tried to remember what I had learned in my Guide troop about tying sticks together, and I wound the cord round her wrists in the same way.  I tried no tot hurt her, but I knew the men might not be so gentle just from the way they were looking at us.


When I tied the ends together, the man who had been holding Grace looked at her and nodded, before he told her to sit at the end of the couch, and his ‘friend’ gave me another length of cord.  I knew what he was going to ask, as I knelt down, smiled at Grace and told her we’d be fine, while I tied her ankles together, the cord rubbing on the leather as I did so.


When I stood up, Grace wriggled round, and I heard Mum tell me to put my hands behind my back.  I felt the cord on my wrists as she tied them together - it was soft, but very strong as well as she wound it around and between my arms, and then tied the ends off before I sat next to my sister and watched as she tied my ankles together as well.


I asked Grace if she was scared, and when she nodded I said I was as well, as we both watched the man hand his ‘friend’ more cord, and he took Mum’s hands behind her back to tie them together.  She then sat next to me as he knelt down and tied her ankles together, before the first man put the case down, and took out of it a roll of brown sticking plaster.


He told Grace to put her lips together, and then tore a long strip off before he pressed it firmly down over her mouth, covering it on all sides.  She tried to speak, but could only mumble as he tore a new strip off, and pressed it firmly down over my mouth.  I could feel it pulling on the skin round my mouth, but it was impossible to try and get off – which I guess was the idea, as he covered Mum’s mouth with a third strip, and then sat to watch us as the other man went round the house with the bag.


I looked at Grace, and at Mum, as I tried to get my wrists free, but the cord was too tightly tied, and I had to sit as Grace rubbed her head on my shoulder.  Eventually, the man stood up as his ‘friend’ came back, and they both left us in the house.


I think we would have been there for hours, but half an hour later Mrs Baines came in – she had seen the open door, and the car outside, and wanted to see if everything was all right.  She took one look at us, and ran out of the room, coming back with a pair of scissors as she said she had asked her son to call the police…







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