Beauty and The Best – Family Together








“Now, are you three getting on with your homework?”


“Yes Mum,” Josie Jardine said as she looked at her mother from the large table in the dining room.  The thirteen-year-old had long dark brown hair, and was wearing a short brown waistcoat over a leopard print top, as well as blue jeans with the legs tucked into short brown leather boots.


Sitting at the table with her were her eleven-year-old brother Tommy and her nine-year olde sister Cara.  Tommy was wearing a coloured checked shirt and jeans, with red-brown loafers, and was reading a book as he made notes on a pad.  Cara, like her brother, had red-brown hair, and she was doing some maths exercises.  She was wearing a brown jacket over a yellow top, a wide red belt round her waist, a knee length floral print skirt and knee length black felt boots.


Suzanne Jardine nodded as she said “well, I’ll bring some drinks in in a while,” and closed the door so they could carry on with their work.  She was forty-eight years old, with long hair a slightly lighter colour than Tommy and Cara, the mustard colour jumper hanging loosely on her.  A long cream chiffon scarf was round her neck and hanging in front of her, her slim legs in a pair of dark jeans, her feet in black heels.  A red belt was round her waist as well.


The Jardine family lived in what had once been a manor house, in its own grounds off the main road of the village.  Her husband Alex ran a logistics firm, and they were – comfortably well off.  Not rich, but they had some nice things, some wealth behind them.


“Now who could that be,” she said to herself as she heard the doorbell ring.  Suzanne walked to the front door and opened it, smiling as she said “can I help you?”


“Suzanne Jardine?”


Suzanne stared at the two young people standing there.  The young man was wearing a black jumper and pants, a black woollen hat on his head, while the woman was wearing a tight-fitting sweater and leggings, with over the knee suede boots.  She also had a hat on her blonde hair, and both of them were wearing black eye masks, their eyes seeming brighter by the black makeup under the masks.


They were also both wearing gloves and carrying bags in one hand – and very real guns pointing at her in their other hands.


“Yes – what’s going on?”


“What is going on,” the young man said, “is a robbery – so please, raise your hand sand walk slowly backwards, and do not raise the alarm.”


“Is this a joke,” she said quietly, but one look at them told her this was not a joke as she walked back, the couple coming in as the woman closed the door.


“Thank you,” she said with a smile,” you can call me Beauty, and this is The Best.”


“The Best?”


“The Best,” he said.  She could tell they were younger than her, as she said “you’re serious – this is a robbery?”


“Oh yes,” Beauty said as she put her bag down, and drew out a length of white rope, “so we are going to secure you first, and then my friend here will take care of you while I have a word with your children who are currently doing their homework.  We know your husband and the two youngest are out at the moment – but don’t worry, they will join you when they return.  For now, I need you to face the wall, and put your hands slowly behind your back.”


“Oh my god,” Suzanne whispered as she complied, Beauty coming behind her and crossing her wrists before she felt the rope forcing them together.  “Why?  Why us?”


“You have what we need,” The Best said quietly as Suzanne felt the rope around and between her arms, before it was tied off.


“And what is that?”


“Money.”  The Best then lifted her scarf up and turned it round, before he said “open your mouth as wide as you can.”  Suzanne had no choice as she tasted the faint perfume on her tongue when the scarf was pulled back between her lips, and then tied tightly round her head.


“I’ll make sure she is secure, and then disconnect the phones,” the masked man said, Beauty nodding as he took Suzanne into the front room, and she picked up her bag, walking towards the kitchen.




As the door to the dining room opened, Cara looked up and said “is that our drinks. M….  Who are you?”


Josie and Tommy looked over as the masked woman came in and set the tray down with the glasses of milk, and they all saw the gun on the tray as well.


“Hi,” the woman said with a smile, “my name is Beauty – and I guess you are wondering why I am here rather than your mother.”


“And why you have a mask on,” Josie said quietly.


“And a gun,” Tommy added.


“Well,” the woman said as she handed them each a glass of milk, “you can call me Beauty – and the reason I have this on is because my friend and I are robbing your parents.”


“You… You’re robbing us.”


“That’s right – but I want you all to know that we do not have any intention of harming any of you.  We will have to make sure you cannot raise the alarm, but I promise you - you are all safe in my hands – and in those of my friend The Best.”


“You’re a real robber?”  Cara’s eyes were wide open as the masked woman nodded.


“I am indeed – so tell me, have you all finished your homework?”


“Not yet,” Josie said quietly, “why?”


“Well, finish your milk – and I’ll do something to make it difficult for you all to get off the chairs?”  Beauty had also brought a bag in over her shoulder, and she took from it some lengths of white rope, kneeling by the side of each chair and securing together the ankles of each of the children.  Josie heard the squeak as the rope rubbed on her boots, while Cara felt the pressure through the black felt.


She then took three more length of rope, and tied it round the waist of each of them so they were held against the chair back, before she said “there – give me your glasses, and you can finish your work?”




“Because it is important you finish your work.”


“No,” Tommy said, “why are you robbing us?”


“Ah – the honest truth is, you have spare money, and we need it in order to live any sort of life.  Now, on with your work – once I do one more thing…”




Suzanne sat in the armchair, not believing what was happening as the man called The Best looked out from the window of the main room.  Her had helped her to sit down, and then used more rope to bind her ankles tightly together, and then had stood by the window.  She could not hear her children, and she prayed they were all right as well.


Her head suddenly turned as she heard a car pull up outside, Best standing with a finger to his lips as she heard the front door open and close.  The door to the room then opened, as her two youngest children came in.  Billy was six years old, and had curly red-brown hair, while four-year-old Essie had a white headband in her dark brown hair.


They both stared at their mother before an older man said “hey, what’s going on,” and Alex Jardine came in.  He was fifty years old, a stockily built man, and was wearing a brown round necked jumper over a white shirt, grey pants and black shoes.  He stared at his wife, and then at the masked man as he pointed a gun at him., and said “hello Mr Jardine – and this must be Billy and Essie.  I don’t want you to be afraid – so long as you do what I and my friend Beauty say, then everyone will be just fine.”


“Daddy, what’s going on,” Essie said as she hugged Alex’s leg.  The young girl was wearing a yellow top with elbow length sleeves over a white lace skirt, and white tights with flat black shoes.  Billy stood on the other side of his father, wearing a grey sweater with a diamond pattern and a white shirt underneath, dark trousers and black shoes.


“Well, Essie – my name is The Best,” the masked man said with a smile, “and I and my friend Beauty are here today because we are going to rob your parents.  I promise you, neither of us is going to hurt you, but we are going to have make sure you all stay nice and quiet – like your mother here.  Tell them they have nothing to be afraid of, Suzanne.”


Suzanne looked at all three of them and nodded as she said “Whrhhlrht – thwhmhnnswhfhthfrs.”


“You sound funny Mummy,” Billy giggled as Alex looked at Best.




“Indeed – so I need you to come over here, while I secure and gag you.  It’s important Billy and Essie here see there is nothing for them to be afraid of.”  Best reached into a bag as he said “so why don’t you two sit on the other couch, and keep your hands where I can see them – all right?”


“Go on – we’ll be all right,” Alex said, the two younger children nodding as they walked over and sat on the couch, and he walked to stand in front of Best.  “I have your word if we cooperate, everyone will be all right?”


“You have my word – but it is fair to tell you we will be staying until after dark.  Having said that, we will arrange a nice sleepover for everyone here.”


Alex nodded as he felt the masked man guide his hands behind his back, and then the rope rubbing on his wrists.  “The other kids are doing their homework?”


Suzanne nodded as the rope was passed between his arms, making the binding tighter as Best secured the ends.  Alex then sat next to his wife, Suzanne putting her head on his shoulder as Best knelt down and bound his ankles together as well.


“There – now,” he said as he took from the bag a blue scarf and rolled it into a band, “open your mouth as wide as you can.”  Billy and Essie watched as the scarf was pulled between their father’s lips, and then tied tightly round his head as he said “Htshshlrht.”


“Now then,” Best said as Suzanne and Alex watched, “your turn.  Can you both lean forward and put your hands behind your back for me?”


Billy and Essie looked at each other, and then allowed Bes to secure their wrists together behind their backs, before watching as he tied ropes tightly round their ankles as well.


“Ah – they have finished their homework, so I said they could come in.”


Alex and Suzanne saw a masked woman come into the room, and then their eyes opened wide as Josie, Tommy and Cara jumped into the room.  Each of them had their wrists secured together behind their backs, and rope holding their ankles together, as well as a rolled up white scarf pulled between their lips.


“Hllmnhmmm,” Josie said as they jumped over and sat on the floor, while Beauty said “you must be Essie and Billy – and this must be your father.  I am Beauty – and I can tell you they have finished all their homework.”


All three of them nodded as Alex nodded, while Best finished securing Essie’s ankles together.  Standing up, he took a scarf from the bag and rolled it up, before using it as a cleave gag on Billy.


“Thank you,” Essie said as she was gagged as well, Beauty saying “so, we can all watch television for a while, and then your mother can prepare supper for all of you.”




“Until it is safe for us to depart,” Beauty said as she turned the television on, and they all watched…








“Why what,” Beauty replied as she looked at Suzanne.  The mother had been untied and brought into the kitchen, and was preparing some food with the unexpected help of Beauty.


“Why do this?  Why tie up and gag us, and say you are here to rob us?”


“Because honesty is the best policy?”


Suzanne looked at Beauty, then smiled and shook her head before she said “seriously?”


“Seriously?  I know you are comfortably well off as a family – but are you aware how hard it is for some people out there?”


“I know it is difficult?”


“For some of us,” Beauty said, “who are trying to get their way up from nowhere, it is next to impossible.  So the honest truth, Suzanne, is we have to do this to be able to survive.”


Suzanne looked at her, and said “you’re telling the truth aren’t you?”


“You see the news?  Best and I are living pictures of just how difficult it is out there.  So yes, with regret, we are robbing you to have enough funds to put food on the table, and pay the bills for a while.”


Suzanne nodded as she said “I know it is hard – but you have been honest, and you have kept your word.  I’m cooking enough so you and The Best can eat with us – if you will.”


“Won’t your husband be upset?”


“I’ll talk to him…”




“Thanks Mum,” Josie said as she took the plate from Suzanne.   Beauty had talked to them, and told them they would be free and able to talk round the dinner table, so long as they did not do anything to raise the alarm – and they had all nodded in agreement.


“I worked my way up from nothing,” Alex said as he looked at Best, “so I know how hard it can be – and I guess it has not been this hard for many years, is this truly the only way you have to live?”


“I wish it was not the case,” Best said quietly, “but it is.”




“They laid you off?”


Barbara looked across the table at Tom as he slowly nodded.  “The boss was very apologetic – and he had put me in touch with another firm who are looking for delivery drivers – so I don’t blame him.  But…”


“But it makes it harder for us,” Barbara said quietly.  “Did your boss say why?”


“Only business is not as good as he wishes it was.  I take that as code for the owner has ordered some downsizing.”


“What – Alex Jardine?”


Tom nodded as he said “I wonder if he knows just how bad things are?”


“Do you think he should learn from some people who know?”


Tom looked at Barbara, and said “are you serious?”


“Damn right I am – he has fired you, so he no longer has that possible connection to us.”  Barbara sipped her coffee before she said “seriously, we have reviewed him and his family, where he lives – do you think we could do it?”


“We could do it,” Tom said as his mobile phone rang.  He answered it and said “Hello?


“Oh yes – thank you for calling back,” he said as he left the room, and then returned a few minutes later. 




“I am gainfully employed again – so let’s do this.”


Beauty nodded as Josie said “it’s not right, Dad, that people who treat us nicely like this have to resort to these measures.”


“I know,” Alex said quietly, “so let’s all enjoy our meal – what happens after that?”


“Well, we will be staying until after dark,” Best said, “so I suggest you all get ready for bed – girls first, then the boys, then the parents.  You can play some games while we do that, then you can all watch a film together.”


“Tied up and gagged?”


“Tied up and gagged – so eat up, and we can see what happens after that…”






Alex and Suzanne sat round the low table with Tommy and Billy, playing Sorry as Best watched, while Beauty walked up the stairs with Josie, Cara and Essie.


“All right – oldest first,” she said as they went into Josie’s room, Beauty putting her bag down on the bed as Cara and Essie sat down.  “Get changed into something for bed please.”


“How tightly are you going to tie us up,” Cara asked as Josie started to pull her boots off.


“We have to do it tightly do that it does not hurt you – and you cannot hurt yourselves,” Beauty said as they watched Josie.  She looked at them, then said “if we have to be held hostage by robbers, I’m glad it is someone like you Beauty.”


“Thank you,” the masked woman said as Josie pulled a nightdress over her head.  It had short sleeves, and had a blue butterfly print on the white material. 


“So what happens now?”


Beauty took a length of white rope from her bag, and said “put your hands behind your back Josie.  Your sisters can watch and see what is going to happen.”  She walked behind the young girl and guided her hands behind her back, crossing her wrists and then using the rope to bind them firmly together.


Cara and Essie then watched as Beauty took another, longer length of rope and then wound it round Josie, forcing her arms against her sides as the bands formed round her upper arms and her stomach.  The masked woman then fed the rope between Josie’s arm and body, pulled it up and around the back of her head, then under the other arm.


As she tied the ropes off, Essie said “how does it feel?”


“As if I’m being hugged – but it doesn’t hurt,” Josie said as she twisted round.


“Good – now let’s go to your room Cara.”  The group walked to the middle daughter’s room, Essie looking at Josie as Cara stripped and changed into a grey long-sleeved top with a picture of a giraffe wearing a scarf and wool hat on the front, and a pair of black and grey leggings patterned like a giraffe’s skin.


“Do I get tied as well now,” she said as she looked at Beauty.


“Of course you do,” the masked woman said as she came over, and a few minutes later Cara had her wrists and upper body bound in the same way as Josie.  They then went to Essie’s room, both girls watching as she changed into a pink My Little Pony onesie with covered feet and pictures of clouds, rainbows and stars on the front.


“Guess she’ll be the only one without bare feet,” Cara whispered, Josie nodding as Beauty made sure Essie’s wrists were secured behind her back, and then her arms were secured to her sides.


“Now, before we go down, I need to make sure you all stay really quiet,” Beauty said as the girls saw her take three sponge balls from her bag.  Compressing one in her gloved hand, she said to Josie “oldest first again – open your mouth please.”


“Talk to you all later,” Josie said before the sponge ball was pushed into her mouth, the sponge expanding and filling her mouth as she closed her lips to allow Beauty to press a length of white micropore tape down firmly over her mouth, using her gloved fingers to smooth it down to the shape of her face.  The other two were gagged in the same way, before the quartet walked downstairs.


“Are…  Are they all right,” Suzanne whispered as the three girls came in and sat on the couch, Beauty taking more ropes and kneeling down before one by one she crossed and tied their ankles, and then secured their legs together below their knees.


“Shrrfhnmhm,” Cara said as she twisted round.  It felt strangely nice to be like this…


“Boys next,” Best said, “their parents can play on for the girls.  Come with me.”


Tommy and Billy nodded as they went up the stairs with Best, going into Billy’s room first as the masked man said “you saw what Beauty did for your sisters – now I am going to do the same for you.  Please get changed Billy.”


“How does it feel – to be that tightly tied,” Billy said as he pulled his jumper off.


“You’re about to find out,” Best said as he laid some ropes out.  Billy nodded as he stripped down, then changed into a long-sleeved burnt umber top and a pair of pale blue pyjama bottoms with pictures of sailing boots and sea monsters on the material.


“Nice pjs,” Tommy said as Best guided his brother’s hands behind his back and started to bind the rope tightly round his wrists.  He made sure it was neat and snug, before he used a longer rope to make sure his arms were secured against his sides.  He grinned as he twisted round, before they walked into Tommy’s bedroom and watched him put on a grey t-shirt with a picture of Pikachu on the front, and blue shorts.


“You were right – you haven’t really hurt us,” Tommy said as Best secured his upper arms and wrists.  As the ropes were pulled tighter, he smiled to himself.


“What is it, Tommy?”


“I don’t know I should be sacred, but I’m not – in fact, I’m feeling excited about what is happening.”


“Good,” Best said as he secured the ropes, “just don’t shout that out too loud.”


“If I’m right, I’m not going to be able to make much noise at all.”


“True,” Best said as he compressed a sponge ball in his hand, “very true – but be careful how you talk about this to others.  For now, open wide.”


Billy watched as his brother had the sponge eased into his mouth, and then the tape pressed down over his jaw, and then felt the sponge as it expanded in his own mouth.  The tape pulled slightly on his face as it was pressed down, but it felt nice as they both walked down the stairs.




“Yhsjhshe” Tommy said as they sat on another couch, their parents watching as their ankles and legs were secured in the same way as the girls.


“Now, let’s find something for you all to watch – how does Fantastic Beasts sound?”


All five nodded as Beauty whispered into Suzanne’s ear “your turn – come with me please,” and walked her out of the room, up the stairs and into the master bedroom.


“So what now – I change and you bind me as well?”


“Once you do something for me,” Beauty said, “I am sure you don’t want a mess in here, so why don’t you tell me where your jewels and valuables are, and we can talk while I make sure I take them.”


“Well look in the top drawer first,” Suzanne said as she sat down and unfastened her belt.  “For armed robbers, you’re not so bad – and I do understand why you feel you have to do this.”


“I’m glad of that,” Beauty said as she emptied the contents of some jewellery cases into a velvet bag.  “I am sure the insurance claim will recompense you – you can tell them you were forced to put the jewels into the bag if that helps.”


“Let’s see what they do first – there’s a box at the top of the wardrobe as well,” Suzanne said as she pulled her jumper off, and then put over her head a brown knee length nightgown with capped sleeves.  She stood up and removed her pants and shoes as well, standing in her bare legs as she said “everything else is in the safe downstairs.”


“I understand – we will let Best and your husband deal with that,” Beauty said as she put the velvet bag in the larger one, and then drew out some rope.  “So, let’s get you comfortable as well.”


Suzanne nodded as she turned round, and felt the rope on her slim wrists as they were bound tightly together.  She then supressed a gasp as the rope was passed round her body, forcing her arms against her sides as the bands framed her chest.


“When you did this to Suzie and Cara – did they say anything?”


“Cara looked puzzled – and Suzie was a little concerned,” Beauty said as she pulled the bands tighter, and then passed the rope between her arm and body on one side.  Suzanne nodded as the ropes were pulled tighter, and then secured before she was turned round.


“If you are worried, talk to them tomorrow, would be my advice – and for what it is worth, I think Tommy may be just as confused as well.”


“That’s one for Alex,” Suzanne laughed – and then she saw the compressed sponge ball in Beauty’s gloved hand.





“Uhrlhkhsnh,” Josie mumbled, the grin obvious under the tape as Suzanne came back in and sat in an armchair.


“You look – happy,” Alex said as Beauty began to bind rope round his wife’s ankles.


“Hmhm,” Suzanne said as she watched the rope going around and between her legs below her knees, the kids watching Eddie Redmayne as Best put his hand on Alex’s shoulder.


“Let’s pay a visit to your office, and then your bedroom,” he said quietly, Alex standing and then walking over before he kissed each of his children on the head.


“You are all incredibly brave,” he said, Essie giggling before he walked out with Best.  They walked down the corridor to an office before Best said “I want you to open your safe – you are free to say you were forced to open it on the grounds of your family being threatened.”


“Slightly more believable than doing it willingly to help someone in more need than me,” Alex said as he knelt down and turned the dial on the front of the safe, then opened the door before putting rolled up notes and other items into Best’s bag.


“Well, I leave that in your hands,” Best said as Alex stood up.  “So, shall we go and make you more comfortable?”





As they walked back into the room, the Jardine family shook their heads as they looked at their father.  He was wearing blue stripe pyjamas, but his arms and upper body were bound in exactly the same way as the rest of the family, the white tape covering his mouth as well.  As he sat down, Beauty knelt and bound his ankles together, as well as his legs below the knees, before she stood up and smiled. 


“There now – you can enjoy the film together,” Beauty said as Alex winked at Suzanne.  She nodded as the kids turned their attention to the film, Beauty going over to stand next to Best.


“Well, this has gone well,” she whispered.


“Indeed – now we wait for dark…”



Suzanne looked at Essie as she sat with her eyes closed, her chest gently rising and falling under the bands of rope as her head rested on Cara’s arm.  Cara herself was also sleeping, her head on Josie’s arm as she looked across at the boys.  Billy and Tommy were both dozing as well, their eyes slowly closing.


“Time for us to go,” Best said as he looked out of the window.  Beauty nodded as she looked at Alex and Suzanne.


“You have been gracious hosts – I am sure someone will find you eventually,” she said, Alex nodding as Suzie started to go to sleep.  He and Suzanne watched as the masked intruders picked up their bags and slipped out of the room, then they heard the front door open and close.




Suzanne looked over at Alex, an eyebrow raised.






“unhwht?  Hmfhhlhnghd.”




Suzanne looked at her husband before she slowly stood up, and jumped over to out herself on Alex’s lap.




Alex reached down and pressed his taped lips on his wife’s – and she returned the kiss as the film came to an end…









“Mister and Mrs Jardine?”


The housekeeper closed the door and walked into the front room, stopping dead and saying “oh my dear lord…”


Alex opened his eyes and said “Fhknghd – chlthphlhs…”








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