Generations 2




Well, I suppose it started as just an ordinary night.  There was a little bit of rain falling outside, a chill in the air, and Coronation Street was starting on the television.  I’d finished my dinner, and washed up the plates and dishes, before sitting down with a nice sup of tea to watch the television for a while.


The day had not been anything special either – I went down to the shops to pick up a few things, and then went to the lunch club with some of the girls.  We sat, talked about things, and then went our separate ways – in my case, my little job at the hardware store.  I got home about five thirty, and as I said cooked and ate my dinner before settling down.  As God is my witness, I was expecting nothing more that night than to watch my favourite program and get an early night.


How was I to know I was going to have visitors and what would happen then?


Where was I?  Oh yes – I had just sat down and started to drink my tea when I heard what sounded like something falling on the ground.  I glanced out of my window, and could see the kids playing down in the street, so didn’t think anything more about it.  My attention was solely focused on just how long that Fiz could be deceived by everyone around her.


I never even heard the door to the room open, so when the commercial break started and I stood up to take my cup back to the kitchen, the last thing I expected to see was a young man standing there, looking at me in a strange way as he held my meat knife in his hand.


He was about five foot seven, the same height as me, and wearing a dirty grey sweatshirt and faded jeans.  If anything, he looked as scared as I was, but he was the one holding the knife and looking at me.  After we stared at each other for a moment, he walked over and took hold of my hand, asking me if I was going to scream.  Well, I’ve seen all the programs, so I said I would not if he did not hurt me.  His eyes widened at that, before he quietly said he did not want to harm me – he just needed a place to stay until the morning, and some money when he eventually did go.  In return, so long as I did what he said he would leave me alone.


It took a little while for me to understand what he was saying, but when he told me to draw the blinds in the room and then sit down, with my hands in my lap, I realised I had somehow become his hostage.  So I did what he asked, and then watched him as he paced the room, agitated, unsure of what his next move was going to be.


Sadly, that was decided for him when the telephone rang.  He almost ran over to where I was sitting, went behind me and clamped his dirty hand over my mouth, pressing the blade against the fabric of the sweater around my throat and ordering me to be quiet.  We stayed there, saying and doing nothing as the phone continued to ring.  I was beginning to wish I had bought that answering machine when the ringing finally stopped, and he let go of my mouth.


I could hear his heavy breathing behind me as he held the knife against my throat, so I spoke quietly and calmly to say that I would do whatever he asked, so long as he took that knife away.  He moved the blade away and walked round, sitting down in the chair next to me and watching me all the time as he calmed himself down.  I asked him his name, and what had happened, so we started to talk.  How was I to know others were going to get involved?




Mum rang as I was about to finish my shift at the sports store – it was late opening, and nearly 8 o’clock.  She’s a bit of a worrier, my mum, so when she told me she hadn’t been able to get an answer at Aunt Bessie’s, I figured she’d just been up in the toilet and unable to get to the phone in time.  I told her as such, but she just would not stop worrying.


In the end, I said I would call in on the way home and make sure she was all right.  It was on my way back, it would only take me a couple of minutes to make sure she was OK.


I call her Aunt Bessie, but she’s really my great aunt.  My mother thinks she has to make sure she’s all right every minute of the day, even though she’s only about 60 and isn’t exactly a doddering old woman.  That was the main reason I sighed as I pulled on my jacket and left the store – it would be a waste of time, right?


Right – a waste of time...



The television stayed on in the background as we talked.  He told me his name was Brian, and I told him my name was Bessie.  I turned out he’d run off from a Young Offender’s Institute a few miles down the road, after hearing that his mother was ill, but he’d only got a short way when he realised he’d probably made the biggest mistake of his life.


I asked him if he was hungry, and he admitted that he was, so I said I would cook him some supper if he wanted.  This seemed to please him, but then he said something about how he had to make sure I was not going to raise the alarm, so he asked me to come with him into the kitchen.  We walked in, him holding my arm, and then he told me to sit down in a chair while he had a quick look round.


Watching me all the time, he rummaged around in the drawers until he found some twine that I used for tying up some rubbish bags, as well as a sharp knife on the draining rack.  Using the knife to cut some of the twine off the ball, he knelt in front of me and wrapped it around the suede boot I was wearing, pulling it around my ankle and then passing it around the other one so that my feet were secured together, but with about a foot of twine between them.  Helping me up, I found that I could walk with short steps, but there was no chance of my running anywhere.  Brian said it was a trick held learned as a young boy, and sat down while he watched me hobble over to the cupboard to take out a can of soup.


He seemed a nice enough boy – thin, red hair and a nice smile, but it was very clear to me that I was his prisoner until he decided what he was going to do.  At any rate, I poured the warm soup into a bowl and passed it to him, giving him a spoon as well while I shuffled over to make us both a cup of tea.  After all, I didn’t want to anger him, and he was thirsty.


At any rate, we sat at the kitchen table, him eating and me watching, as we talked about anything and everything.  I remember the clock showing about 8.45 when, to my shock and his surprise, I heard a key turning in the front door.  Brian quickly stood up, walked over and put his hands on my shoulder as he asked me who it was.  I had no idea, until I heard my niece Jenny calling out my name.  I was as shocked as he probably was, until he told me to call her into the kitchen, walking over and standing behind the door.


Looking back now, I probably should have screamed at her to get out, but to my own amazement I heard myself calling to her to come into the kitchen.  The look on her face when she walked in was priceless, until the one when Brian put his hand over her mouth replaced it.



It was quiet when I called out, although I thought I could hear movement somewhere.  Anyway, I closed the front door behind me and walked in, calling out for Aunt Bessie again.  That’s when I heard her telling me to come into the kitchen, saying she was having a drink in there.  Well, I thought nothing of it as I walked down the corridor and into the kitchen.  That quickly changed when I opened the door and walked in.


Bessie was sitting at the kitchen table, her hands around a mug of tea and a slightly worried look in her eyes.  She was still wearing the blue work tunic over her grey jumper, while her skirt fell down off the seat and over her boots.  What caught my eye, however, was the fact that there seemed to be some twine wrapped round her ankles.  I was about to say something about that when somebody grabbed me from behind and put their hand over my mouth, forcing my wrist behind my back with the other hand as they whispered into my ear not to scream or struggle.


Well, I looked over at Aunt Bessie, who just quietly nodded and held her legs out to show me that they were in fact tied together after a fashion.  She said the man behind me was called Brian, and so long as we did what he said we would be all right.  I have to confess that I thought she was too calm in the circumstances, until she looked over at the knife that was in the centre of the table and I realised that he might have been there for a while.


He asked if I would do as he said, and I nodded out of fear for both of us.  That was when he told me to go and sit at the table, so that he could watch both of us.  I got my first good look at him – a nice enough boy, if he hadn’t just said he was holding both of us hostage,  Yeah, I know he never said it as such, but that was what was happening as he sat down and asked me who I was.  I told him I was Jenny, and Bessie was my great aunt, watching him nod as I said that.  He then asked me what I had planned for that night – well, the only thing I had planned was a bath and an early night, but what I said was that I was expected home, and if I didn’t come back my mother would call the police.


That was when he asked me if I stayed out sometimes, and when I said yes he told me to call my mother to say I would be home late – a works do – but that my aunt was fine and had just gone to bed early.



It only took a couple of minutes for Jenny to persuade her mother she and I were fine, while we both sat and watched.  Once she was done, Brian asked her to pass him the phone, from which he removed the battery and put it in his pocket.  He then told Jenny to take her leather jacket off, which she did, leaving it on the back of the chair as she sat there in the polo shirt and training pants she wore at the shop.


So we sat there, staring at each other and wondering what the next move was going to be.  Eventually, Jenny asked Brian just how long he was intending to stay, and his honest answer was that he did not know,  He asked if either of us had a car, but we both shook our heads – only Jenny’s mother had a car, which she drove sometimes but not today, and I had never learnt to do so.  I guess what I was really wondering about was what was going to happen to both of us when he eventually did leave, but that started me worrying again, and I had already resolved not to be afraid about this.


The clock in our front room struck ten, which seemed to make Brian stir a bit.  Once again, Jenny asked him how long he was going to stay there and his rather terse reply - well, it does not bear repeating, but it was not the most polite of responses.  She started to stand up, only for him to stand up more quickly, grab the knife and walk over to her, pointing the blade at her and telling her to sit back down.  Jenny did that, slowly, before he started to look again in the cupboards, eventually pulling out a coil of washing line that I had brought home a few days ago to replace the line outside.


When I saw the rope, I knew both Aunt Bessie and I were in trouble, but as he calmed down Brian assured us he did not wan to hurt us, just prevent us from getting in the way or hurting ourselves.  We were not exactly in a position to argue, so we watched as he unwrapped the rope and cut it into four equal lengths.


Watching me all the time, he walked over to Aunt Bessie and told her to hold her hands out in front of her, palms together, and not to move until he said so.  I was more worried than ever as I watched him quickly tying her hands together, passing the rope around and between her wrists so that they were held together, before tying the knot off out of reach of her fingers. 


Well, I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, but as he bound my wrists together he made sure the rope stayed over the cuffs of the sleeves of my jumper, so that it did not rub too much against my skin.  It wasn’t sore when he had finished, and I asked him if he had done this sort of thing before.  I should have realised, of course, that there was a good chance he was in the YOI for a reason, and it turned out that reason was “aggravated burglary” as he put it.  At any rate, he took me by the arm and helped me to my feet, before walking back over with the knife in his hand and taking Jenny by her arm.  Pointing to the door, he made us both walk back into the front room of the house, me shuffling along as Brian followed with Jenny.


The BBC news was playing as we walked in, and the newsreader was talking about a prison escape that day, and how three young men were on the run.  Brian looked at both of us and nodded to show he was one of the men, saying the other two were well away by now.  He helped me to sit down in an armchair, and said he was going to allow Jenny a chance to clean herself up before he did anything else.  He would also have to make sure I could not raise the alarm, for which he seemed genuinely sorry.  At any rate, he used one of the lengths of rope to tie my wrists down to the wooden arm of the chair, before picking up a handkerchief that I had dropped on the floor earlier that evening and pushing it into my mouth.  He left me there, mutely watching the news bulletin, while he took Jenny away for a few minutes to do whatever it was he wanted her to do.


I didn’t want to leave Aunt Bessie there, but I desperately, desperately needed to go to the loo.  Brian took me up the stairs, opened the door and warned me (a) not to close the door, and (b) he was outside, and if I did anything stupid he would take it out on my aunt.  I shoes concern over discretion, but at least he turned his back on me as I sat down and relieved myself.


He only turned round when he heard the sound of the toilet flushing, and watched as I fastened the front of my pants again.  As I stepped out into the hallway, eh held up a length of rope in front of him and told me he had to make sure I wasn’t going to try anything while Bessie had a chance to clean up.  Realising I had little choice in the matter; I turned round and crossed my wrists behind my back, looking over my shoulder as I felt the rope pass over my wrists.


Brian was quick, I’ll give him that, but he was also strong, and I quickly realised there was no way I was going to be able to separate my wrists when he had finished.  The rope was soft cotton, so it didn’t feel too rough against my bare skin, but I knew the coils would hold them firmly together, even before he passed the rope between my wrists to further tighten them up.


Satisfied he had secured them, Brian then took my arm and helped me to go down the staircase.  Aunt Bessie looked up as we came back in, saw the way my arms went behind my back and nodded in understanding as he made me sit down in the seat opposite her.  He looked over and told her that he would take the gag out in a few minutes, but he needed to make sure I would not try anything first.


He pulled my trainers off and tied my ankles together, wrapping the rope around my socks as he did so and making sure the knot was hidden behind my feet when he had finished, before standing up and walking over to Aunt Bessie, gently taking the cloth out of her mouth so that she could talk and breath properly again.  I had to admire her courage while all this was going on – I was beginning to feel fear for the first time that night.


I was scared out of my skin as I watched Brian tying my niece up, but what could I do?  I was also tied to the chair, and gagged with a cloth that was getting increasingly heavy in my mouth.  I watched him finishing off the knot, before he walked over and took the wet cloth out of my mouth, letting it drop to the floor as he did so.


He wiped the spittle away from the side of my mouth, before releasing my bound wrists from the arm of the chair and asking if I wanted to use the toilet.  If truth be told, I’d been holding on for the last hour, but as I held up my wrists he realised that it would be difficult for me to do anything with them held together.  He excused himself for a minute, and left Jenny and I alone together in the room.


As I looked over, I could see her trying to free her wrists from behind her back, so I asked Jenny how she was doing.  She said she was coping, but wanted this to end.  Well, so did I, but I knew there was not a lot I could do about it as Brian walked back in with a roll of silver duct tape.  Tearing a strip off, eh smoothed it over Jenny’s lips, apologising for the fact he felt he had to do that before coming back over and untying the twine from around my ankles.  She watched us both, eyes wide over the tape, as he led me out of the main room and up the stairs.


I did wonder what he was planning, but when he opened the door to my bedroom I was beginning to fear the worst.  Instead, he asked me where I kept my night-time attire, and I told him to look under the pillow of my bed where I had a long nightdress.  He then took me back to the bathroom, and untying my wrists suggested that I might like to take a shower before he did anything else.  Looking at him, I asked him if he intended to watch my undress, but he smiled as he denied that – he would keep the door open, but not watch my undress or shower.


I have to say it was a relief to get out of those warm clothes and step into the running water.  I was so busy scrubbing myself I did not see him collect my clothes and take them into the bedroom, leaving my nightdress and a pair of long bed socks for me to put on when I had finished.  Eventually, I towelled myself off and slipped the gown over my head, sitting on the toilet seat to pull the socks on as Brian watched.


He then apologised for what he had to do next, as he tied my wrists back together again in front of me, making sure this time it went over the long sleeves of my nightdress, after which he escorted me back down to the front room and allowed me to lie down on the settee, looking over at Jenny as she stared mutely back at me.  I watched him tying my ankles together with the last length of rope, this time securing them tightly together, before he placed a pair of cushions under my head and sat back down.


I really did not believe he was going to harm either of us by this point, so when I dared to suggest he could remove the tape from her lips he only looked at me for a moment before walking over and peeling the adhesive gag away.



It was a surreal experience as he sat back down.  There was me, sat in a chair with my wrists tied behind my back and my ankles tied together; Aunt Bessie lying down on the couch bound hand and foot; and this young man, Brian, watching over both of us as we all watched the late film.  It was Three Days of The Condor, believe it or not, and I felt I knew exactly how Faye Dunaway felt.  Brian was no Robert Redford, but he wasn’t that bad looking, and he was treating us kindly in some way or another.


As the film finished, I looked over to see that Aunt Bessie had fallen asleep, her eyes closed and her breathing regular.  Brian noticed as well, as he asked me if I wanted a drink of something.  I asked him for some water, so he slipped into the kitchen, returning with two glasses of iced water and some straws.


He held the glass up to my mouth, allowing me to suck the cool water and refresh myself, and even wiped around my lips when I had finished.  As he sat back down and sipped his own drink, I asked him why he had ended up in this situation – it proved to be quite a story, which I promised I would keep to myself.  You already know the details anyway.


At any rate, it must have been about midnight when I felt my eyes starting to close.  As I felt myself gradually going to sleep, the last thing I saw was Brian sitting there, somehow knowing both that I would be all right and that he would still be there when I woke up the next... the next...




When the alarm went off at six, I stretched and yawned before almost throwing myself out of bed and walking to the bathroom.  It was as I was walking back to my room, towelling myself off, that I looked into Jenny’s room and saw that she had not slept in her bed.  This in itself wasn’t unusual, but when I went downstairs it was obvious that she actually had not come home that night.


I was going to phone Bessie’s to see if she had stayed there, but as I went to the phone I decided not to bother, in case they were still asleep.  Instead, I’d drop in on my way to work and give Jenny a lift to the shop.  That would be a better idea, I thought to myself as I looked in the mirror, tying the bow on my blouse – a real surprise for them.




It was the sound of the milk van pulling up outside that woke me up.  I tried to raise one hand to rub the sleep out of my eye, only to remember when they both came together the events of the previous night.  Glancing over to one of the chairs, I could see Jenny sitting there, her head to one side as she quietly snored.


At any rate, there was no sign of Brian, so I wondered if he had slipped away during the night and left the two of us alone.  Any thoughts that might be the case were quickly dashed, however, when the door to the room opened and he came in, carrying a tray with mugs of coffee on it.  He’d cleaned himself up a bit, and was smiling as he came over and asked me how I felt.  How I felt was stiff, and my wrists felt a bit numb.  When he heard that, he asked me to promise I would still do as he asked for a little while longer.  When I said I would, he untied my hands and feet and helped to sit up, holding a mug for me while I rubbed my wrists to get some feeling back into them.


He sat down and we started talking again, this time with me asking him how he ended up in the institute.  Turned out to be a story you hear far too many times in the news – nothing to do, boredom leading to gang membership, the thrill of the crime making up for an emptiness in life.  The thing is, as he said it I could begin to see that it was actually true for him – he seemed to lighten up and smile when he talked about the break in that he was caught and convicted for, and how it felt to have to secure the woman in her bed to stop her raising the alarm.


I didn’t know whether to be horrified, scared out of my wits or feel sorry for the young lad as he sat back and drank his coffee, so I asked instead what he was planning to do.  Brian said that he would wait for Jenny to wake up, make sure we were ‘comfortable’ as he put it and then make for the train station.  I looked over to the clock on the mantelpiece, which showed it had just passed seven, as Jenny started to come to.


As she sat herself up and blinked, I wished her a good morning and asked her if she had slept well.  The look she gave me spoke volumes, much more than anything she could have said.



Much as I love Aunt Bessie, how would you feel if you woke up, having spent the night in an armchair with your hands tied together behind your back and your feet tied together, and the first thing you heard was someone asking if you slept well?  I hate to say it, but I was too tired to do much more than glare back over at her.


Anyway, Brian came over and asked me to turn round so that he could untie my wrists, saying he had a hot coffee ready for me.  After I rubbed some life back into them, and watched him untie my legs as well, I took the mug of coffee from him and drank deep.  It took a few minutes for me to wake up properly, as my aunt and Brian talked about what he was planning to do next.  As I listened, I could not help feeling he wasn't that bad a bloke – he was trying,. Ni his own way, to do the right thing by us and still get away.  Given what he could have done while we were asleep, or indeed at any time during the night, I was a little happier.


Anyway, when I next looked at the clock it said it was seven.  Brian asked us both to stand up and come upstairs with him, so that we could freshen up a little while “he looked for a few things.”  I asked him what he meant by that, and his reply was simple – did I want to be tied up with the rope again, or would I prefer something softer?  Given I could still feel where it had rubbed during the night, I said I could see why he was asking, and followed him upstairs.  I did notice he brought the knife with him as well, but by that point he didn’t really need to.  As I looked at aunt Bessie, she nodded in silent agreement - we just wanted him to do what he wanted to do and get out with a minimum of fuss.


He took the two of us into a bedroom, from which he could see the door to the bathroom as well, and asked me to lie face down on the bed, with my hands behind my back.  He promised me he just wanted me to stay there while Aunt Bessie went to the toilet, so I did as he asked and watched him from the side as he kept an eye on the bathroom.  After a few minutes, I heard the sound of the toilet flushing as Aunt Bessie came into the room.  Brian told her to sit on the bed, hands on her head, while I went to do what I had to do.


I sat there, watching Brian standing in the doorway while Jenny was in the toilet, and asked him what he planned to do next.  He turned to look at me, and asked me where I kept my scarves.  I nodded towards a wardrobe, as the toiler flushed and Jenny came back in.  He then told her to go into the wardrobe and bring out a selection of my scarves, which she did, keeping an eye on me all the time as she did so.  As she placed them on the bed, he told me to stand up and face Jenny while he looked through them.


After a few minutes, he took a long purple silk rectangle and told Jenny to put her hands behind her back again.  I watched her, the sweat starting to appear under her blonde fringe, as he wrapped the scarf around her wrists and tied them tightly together.  As he did so, he told us this was how he usually secured the women he “visited” before leaving them for loved ones to find.  As we had been so kind, however, he said he would not go as far as he usually did, and make it easier for us to get free once he had left.

Taking hold of a belt that was in my dressing gown, he quickly tied my wrists back together in front of me, using the belt to secure them to the front of my waist as he tied the ends together in the small of my back.  He then invited us both to go back downstairs, taking a pile of my scarves in his hand as we left the bedroom.



Nothing special was happening as I set off for Bessie’s house – the traffic was as bad as ever, but I felt I had left enough time.  I would be there for eight, say hello and then take Jenny to her work in time for the store opening at nine.  No problem at all.


At any rate, I was soon pulling up outside and getting out of the car, saying hello to the neighbours as I locked the door and put the keys in my handbag.



I watched as Brian helped Jenny to sit back down in the armchair, and then used one of my headscarves to bind her ankles together, using a small kerchief to tighten the loops by passing it between her legs.  Repeating the process above her knees so that her legs were held firmly together, he then walked over and did the same thing to my ankles, using one of my silk scarves this time.  Once more he helped me to lie down with my head o n a cushion, thanking me for the hospitality and apologising for what he had to do to ensure he could get away.


I wondered what he meant by that as he picked up the tray with the mugs on and took it back into the kitchen.  As he walked back in, he picked up my hand bag and searched through it, taking some money from my purse, before doing the same to Jenny as she watched.  He then picked up a small green scarf, rolled it into a ball and came over to me, kneeling in front of me and stroking my hair back as he asked me to open my mouth.



I watched him pushing the scarf gently into Bessie’s mouth, marvelling at how gently he was treating her.  I guess I had heard the phrase, “honour amongst Thieves” before, but never thought it could actually apply in a situation like this.  At any rate, he picked up a second scarf and came over to kneel beside me, saying that he was glad I had cooperated and so would only put that cloth in my mouth, without using anything to secure it in if I promised not to try and raise the alarm for thirty minutes.


I looked over at Aunt Bessie, who nodded in mute reply, so I opened my mouth to allow him to put the scarf in.  I  tasted of cotton wool, and would no tall fit in so that the edges were protruding from my lips, but I found I was able to breathe easily and nodded when he asked me if I was alright.  Brian stood up, and was about to leave us alone when the worst possible thing that could have happened happened.




Well, of course I had no bloody idea what had happened when I let myself into the house.  I could hear voices, so naturally I assumed that Jenny and Bessie were in the front room talking.  How the hell was I meant to react when I walked in and saw my aunt lying on the couch, my daughter sitting in a chair and a stranger in the room with them?  I didn’t even register the fact they both had some scarves stuffed into their mouths for a few minutes.


When I did see that, however, I did the only thing any sane person would do – I screamed.  All that did was made the young man run over to me, grab me by the waist and slap a dirty hand over my mouth as he twisted my arm behind my back and told me to shut up in words I cannot repeat here, or else I would come off the worst.



So there was my mother, in her battle grey skirt and jacket and that ridiculous bow necked blouse the bank made her wear, staring at the three of us before she let out the loudest scream I had heard since the time she caught me drinking her vodka behind the garage.  No wonder Brian had to force her to shut up – aunt Bessie and I had just about managed to get through the night and him leaving when she came in and made everything worse.


I swear, if I hadn’t been tied up the way I was I would have hand gagged her and told her to shut the hell up.  I get the feeling Aunt Bessie would have been before me though, as she tried to tell mum to shut up and just let Brian go.  Of course, a scarf in the mouth can make that rather difficult, so we both just had to watch mutely what happened next.



Of all the confounded luck, Judy had to walk in just before Brian was about to go.  Now I had to watch as he forced her to kneel down, grabbing a handkerchief and stuffing it into her mouth before she had a chance to scream again.  The duct tape was still on the coffee table where he had left it the previous night, so he grabbed that and wrapped it around Judy’s head, sealing the cloth in and muffling her cries more with each passing rip.  As he tore the tape off, he told her that if she didn’t shut up and calm down, she would start to choke, and he didn’t want that on his conscience.


I watched her, trying to urge her to calm down as best I could, and eventually she did just that, staring at both of us as he pulled her arms behind her back and started to tape her wrists together.  The ripping sound was all we heard for a few minutes as he wrapped the tape around her arms, and then around her chest to hold them tightly to her side.



Well, this was definitely turning out to be a bad day.  Once he had secured my wrists and arms, he made me stand up and sit down in the empty armchair, the roll of tape in his hand as he pushed my legs together and started to wrap the binding around my ankles.  I was cursing, sad to say less for what he had done to my aunt and daughter at that point, but more to the fact I had only just bought these grey leather boots and the tape was going to ruin them.


As I sat there, calming myself down as best I could I looked over at my aunt.  She was lying on the couch, her wrists tied together in front of her with what looked like the belt from her dressing gown, which went round her waist and behind her back.  Her ankles had been tied together, and the edges of something green sticking out.  Her grey hair was unkempt, but she looked as if she hadn’t been harmed.


Jenny was staring at me from under her blonde fringe, still wearing her work clothes but with scarves around her ankles and thighs, as well as her arms pinned behind her back.  The coloured edges of a patterned scarf were sticking out from her mouth as she tried to talk to me, and I wondered why I was been treated more harshly.


If I had been able to talk to mum, I could have told her we had spent half the night gaining the trust of this man so that he had not harmed us, and that had been ruined in a second by her scream.  As I watched him taping her legs together, however, I realised it wasn’t her fault as such – if I had walked in on her like this, I would probably have done the same. 


At any rate, Brian finished tying my mother up, and threw the roll of tape onto the couch next to Aunt Bessie.  Looking through her handbag, he smiled as he took some money from her purse, and the car keys.  She stared up at him angrily, knowing there was no way she was going to be able to stop her taking his car, even though he said he would leave it somewhere and post the keys back to her.


Brian walked over to me, checking the knots on the scarves and thanking me for cooperating with him, before he went over and knelt next to Aunt Bessie.  I swear I saw him kiss her on the cheek before he walked out of the door.



As he knelt next to me, Brian actually apologised for all the trouble he had caused, and thanked me for cooperating.  He then kissed me on the cheek before he walked off, closing the door on the three of us.  We stayed quiet, listening to the sounds outside as a car started and drove off, and then all we could hear was the sound of people walking around outside.


I looked over at Jenny, who managed to smile a bit as she sat there.  Judy was the worst, trying to twist round and get the tape that held her like a cocoon loose.  I could tell her it was useless – if he had been as tight with her as he had been tying me up, then all we could do was wait a while.  He had asked us to give him half an hour, and as I looked at the clock on the mantelpiece showing eight thirty I resolved to do just that.


I knew Jenny wasn’t expected at work for a while – she had told me as much when she was been tied with the scarves – and as for Judy I’m sure her office could cope without her for a little while.  She needed the rest anyway.  I turned onto my side to watch both of them as the minutes ticked away, wondering how I was going to explain this to the girls at the club.