Chrystine Gordon smiled as she put up the last of the decorations for the party. She was expecting the birthday girl with the rest of the family at any moment, and she wanted to make sure everything was ready. The cake was iced and waiting, the trifle sitting in the fridge, the sandwiches cut into triangles, and the squash made up.
The grandmother stopped and looked at herself in the hallway mirror. “Not bad for a fifty five year old,” she said with a smile. She was wearing a purple pinafore dress that came to just above her knees, the dress over a white round necked sweater, and white knee length leather boots – very fashionable for 1972, she thought.
The sound of the doorbell ringing made her smile, as she walked over and opened it, saying “you’re early Je…”
“Good morning,” the smartly dressed man said as he made Chrystine walk back into the house, a very real pistol in his gloved hand, “please, do not raise the alarm.” He was wearing a blue three piece suit and a white shirt, a dark tie hanging down from the collar, as well as highly polished shoes and the black gloves on his hands. Behind him walked a young woman, her blonde hair cut short, wearing a blue jacket over a white dress, white heels and white gloves on her hands. She was carrying a pilot’s bag, and closed the door as the man said “you must be Chrystine. You’re not going to cause any trouble, are you?”
“No,” Chrystine said quietly, “but what do you want?”
“To relieve you of your valuables – why?”
“Because… Because I’m expecting my daughter and granddaughters any moment.”
The man and woman looked at each other before she said “then they will have to join you. Why are they coming?”
“A party – it’s Annie’s birthday.”
“My middle granddaughter – she is nine today. Please, don’t hurt them…”
“Oh don’t worry,” the woman said with a smile, “I think we can make this a very special party. But we need to start as we have to go on.” She opened the bag, and took out a length of white cord, handing it to the man as he handed her the gun, and said “they won’t see that, so long as they do what we say. Put your hands behind your back, Chrystine.”
The older woman nodded as she moved her hands behind her, and she felt the man cross them before the rope was pulled over them. “If you are going to do this, I need to know what I can call you,” she said as she felt the cords going around and between her arms.”
“We are Mister and Mrs Smith,” the woman said with a smile, “so how old are you granddaughters?”
“Well, as I said, Annie is nine today, then there’s Bobbie – she’s eleven – and Elsie is five. Are you… Are you going to do this to them as well?”
“Yes,” Mister Smith said quietly, “but we will do it in a way that keeps them calm, and let them have their party as well. I suggest we start with the party food and drink, and then take it from there, all right?”
“If you’re not letting me use my hands, my daughter and I are going to need your help with that.”
“And you shall have it,” Mrs Smith said as the rope was tied off out of reach of Chrystine’s fingers. All three of them then heard the sound of a car pulling up, as Mister Smith said “let them come in” before he and his partner went into the front room.
Chrystine nodded and swallowed as she saw the front door open, and her granddaughters run in, saying “hello Granny!”
Bobbie came in first, her long blonde hair in two pigtails. She was wearing a peach coloured mini dress, with a white collar and belt as well as a button stripe down the front, capped sleeves showing her bare arms. She was also wearing a pair of knee length black leather boots which hugged her legs.
Annie ran in behind her, also with her blonde hair in two pigtails and wearing a peach coloured minidress. Her dress had long sleeves, a white lace collar and cuffs tightened with black thread. She was also wearing black knee length leather boots, black bows in her pigtails.
Both girls stopped and looked at their grandmother as Elsie came in, holding her mother’s hand. The youngest granddaughter had the same red-brown hair as Chrystine, and was wearing a peach waistcoat over a white jumper, a short tartan skirt and white go-go booties. She looked at Chrystine, as her grandmother said “close the door Susan – I have a special surprise for all of you for Annie’s birthday.”
“Oh wow – what is it Granny,” Bobbie said as the older woman closed the door. Susan was thirty one, and had dark hair cut into a bob. Her pinafore dress was black and sleeveless, her white blouse under it with elbow length sleeves, and she was also wearing a pair of laced up burgundy leather boots which came to below her knees.
“Mum? Why are your hands behind your back?”
“Well – I want you to meet Mister and Mrs Smith,” Chrystine said as the couple came out of the front room. “They’re making a surprise visit, and are going to help us all with the party and the games – so I suggest the three of you go into the front room, and Bobbie can have a look at her present from me in a minute.”
As the three girls ran past, Chrystine slowly turned and showed her daughter her bound wrists. “They’re going to rob me,” she said as she saw how pale Susan was going, “but if we all do as they say, being tied up is about the worst thing that is going to happen.”
“I promise you, you will be safe,” Mrs Smith said with a smile, “and your daughter wants to open her presents. Come on – let’s go in and see what she has got.”
Susan nodded slowly as they walked in, Chrystine sitting down as she said “you can open the first one now Annie.”
“Wow, it’s big,” Annie said as she looked at the brightly wrapped box, before she tore it open and clapped her hands. “It’s wonderful,” she said as she hugged the large teddy bear, while Susan sat next to her mother.
“Mum, who are they?”
“they surprised me just before you arrived – Susan, we’re all going to be – do you like that as well, Annie?”
“I love it,” Annie said as Bobbie looked at the Cindy doll’s house, as Elsie looked at her mother and grandmother.
“Why do you have your hands behind your back, Granny?”
“I’ll show you in a little while,” Chrystine said with a smile as Susan nodded. “It’s all part of the special party surprise.”
Both woman looked at Mrs Smith as Chrystine said “so what did Mum and Dad get you, Annie?”
“New clothes and tickets to go and see the pantomime at the Palladium this Christmas,” Annie said with a grin, “but these are wonderful Granny. So when are we going to have the party food.”
“Right now – if Mrs Smith can help your mother to take the food through to the table while you all sit there. I’ll come through in a few minutes.” The girls nodded as they went through, Susan looking at her mother before she and the blonde haired woman went off.
“Nicely done, Chrystine,” Mister Smith said as he sat opposite her. “Keep it up.”
“Just don’t hurt them – and if you are going to tie them up, make sure that won’t hurt them either.”
“Of course we won’t – the last thing we need is three scared kids making a lot of noise and trouble. But in return, you play along as well, all right – and your daughter.”
Chrystine nodded as he helped her to stand up, and they both walked into the dining room…
“Thank you Granny,” Elsie said as she put the squash cup back on the table, before Susan came in, carrying the large cake with nine candles alight on it as Annie clapped her hands. Her mother put the cake down in front of her as Chrystine said “blow out the candles, Annie, and make a wish.”
The nine year old nodded as she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and then blew the candles out with one breath as everyone clapped – everyone except Chrystine.
“So what did you wish for,” Bobbie said to her sister.
“A really special day for all of us,” Annie said with a smile as Mrs Smith looked round the table.
“Well, I think we can start to play some special games,” she said with a smile. “Did I see you had a parcel wrapped for Pass the Parcel, Chrystine?”
“Yes – why?”
“Well, let’s all go into the front room and we can play a special version of the game.” The three girls got off their seats and ran into the room as Susan and Chrystine followed.
“Now, if you and your mum sit on the floor in a circle, we can play the game,” Mrs Smith said.
“Why can’t Granny play?”
“Well,” Mister Smith said “she is playing already. You see, whoever wins this game is going to have something done to them that your grandmother has already had done to her. Show them Chrystine.”
Chrystine sighed as she turned and showed them her bound wrists, the three girls laughing as they said “wow – is this part of the game?”
“A very special part of it – so sit down, and Mrs Smith will play the music while Chrystine has a seat on the couch.” The girls nodded as Susan sat with them, Chrystine sitting down as the music started.
The other three clapped as Elsie showed the bag of sweets, Mrs Smith clapping as well as she said “well done Elsie. Now I need you to put your hands behind your back, and you can sit with your granny while the others play a game with your mother.”
The youngest girl nodded as she put her hands behind her back, Chrystine watching as the blonde woman bound the five year old’s wrists tightly together behind her back, and then she was helped to sit next to her grandmother.
As she did that, Mister Smith said “well done, Annie – now why don’t you both put your hands behind your back, and Mrs Smith will take care of your wrists while I take care of your mother and sister. Once we’ve done that, then you can play the next game – all of you.”
“What’s that game,” Annie said as Mister Smith started to tie her wrists together behind her back.
“How do you all feel,” Chrystine said as she looked at Susan and her granddaughters.
“It feels funny, but it doesn’t hurt,” Bobbie said as she twisted round, all of them standing in a circle with their wrists secured together behind their backs. “Are you all right, Mummy?”
“Yeah,” Susan said with a smile as the music started, and all five of them started to dance around. Mister and Mrs Smith watched as they danced to Slade, before the music stopped and they all stood still.
It was Bobbie who moved first, Mrs Smith smiling as she said “you’re out, my dear – and you get to be first for a little more rope to keep you secure. Stand still for me.”
All four of the others watched as she took a longer length of rope from the large bag, and then used it to bind the oldest daughter’s arms to her sides, the rope rubbing on her bare arms as it formed two bands on her upper body.
“Does it feel all right,” Susan said, Bobbie nodding as the music played, and they all started to dance again. Susan was next, then Chrystine, the bands of rope framing the chests of both women before they danced along as well. Finally, Annie and Elsie had their arms secured to their sides as well, Susan grateful for the long sleeves on their clothing before Mrs Smith looked at them.
“All right – now we have the ropes keeping you all snug on your arms,” Mrs Smith said, “but for the next game, if you’re out we are going to make sure you can’t move for a while after that.”
“And what’s the game,” Susan said as she looked at them.
“Hide and Seek – you three girls get to hide, and your mother is going to look for you with my help. Then we can move on to the best part of the game.”
“It’s all right,” Chrystine said with a smile, “you go and play the game. I’ll see you all later.”
“Come on then,” Susan said as she stood up, the girls and Mrs Smith going out as Mister Smith looked at Chrystine.
“Well, if you are going to rob me, I want it to be in a way that means there is no mess,” Chrystine said as she wriggled round, the bands of white rope rubbing on the purple dress, “so let’s start down here. There’s a safe in that cupboard – I’ll give you the combination…”
“I wanted to thank you for being so helpful,” Mister Smith said as Chrystine sat on her bed. She could hear the girls and their mother, laughing as they continued their game of hide and seek. But she had also noticed there was less and less the sound of footsteps, and more and more the sound of jumping.
Chrystine took a moment to look round the room. The large double bed she was sitting on, the large armchair she liked to sit in to read when it was the evening with the table beside it, the dressing table, the chest of drawers, and the walk-in wardrobe – Mister Smith smiling as he closed the last of the drawers, and placed the sack containing the contents of the jewellery box into the larger bag.
“And we found you!”
Chrystine smiled as she heard Susan, while Mister Smith removed another length of rope from the back.
“I need to ask – do you always bring so much rope when you rob someone?”
“Let us say, we anticipated the chance of your family calling – when are they due to return home?”
“Not until tonight – why?”
“Considering your options,” he said with a smile as he knelt down and started to bind her ankles together. Chrystine watched as he took the doubled over rope round her legs, pulled it tight, then wrapped the rope around and between her legs so that her ankles were held tightly together.
He then took a second length of rope, and tied her legs together below her knees as she heard the jumping getting closer. She then saw Bobbie jump in, and saw the bands of white rope around her ankles and her legs below her knees, tightly cinched between her limbs.
“Look at us Granny,” she said with a smile as Annie jumped in behind her, her legs bound in the same way, and then Mrs Smith carried Elsie in as Susan followed.
“The poor little thing is getting tired,” she said as she sat the youngest granddaughter next to Chrystine, “why don’t you sit there while I make sure her mother is secure?”
“Are you all right,” Chrystine said as she looked to her side.
“Yeah Granny – this is great fun, but I am getting tired,” the five year old said with a yawn as she rested her head on her grandmother’s side. “Mrs Smith is very nice.”
“Yes she is – can you move?”
Elsie wriggled round and then shook her head as Susan sat on the armchair, Mrs Smith kneeling and crossing her ankles before she started to bind her ankles together over the burgundy laced boots.
Annie and Bobbie were twisting round to the sound of the music coming from Chrystine’s radio, the leather of their boots squeaking as they rubbed together. “That’s a funny noise,” Bobbie laughed, Annie nodding in agreement before Mrs Smith bound their mother’s legs together below her knees as well.
As Susan twisted her legs round, Mister Smith said “now, we have a very special game for the end of the day – but to play it, we need to make it really difficult for all of you to move, and to talk to each other. Mrs Smith, would you sit Elsie on her mother’s lap please and make sure they stay where they are?”
“Yes please,” Elsie said as the blonde haired woman lifted her up and sat her across Susan’s lap, the young girl nestling her head against her mother’s chest as she then tied a length of rope from her ankles to her mother’s.
“And how are you going to make it difficult for us to talk,” Annie asked as she looked over.
“With these,” Mrs Smith said as she took a white silk scarf from the bag, rolled it into a band and then stood in front of Susan and Annie. “So, who is going to be first?”
Elsie watched as her mother opened her mouth and allowed Mrs Smith to pull the rolled up scarf between her lips, then tie the band round her head with the ends knotted at the base of her neck. She then nodded and said “uhtthrrhnh” to Elsie, Mrs Smith taking a second scarf and rolling it into a band before she cleave gagged her daughter as well.
“As for you two,” Mister Smith said, “you’re going to be either side of your mother, but we need to do the same to all three of you for the game.”
“This is exciting,” Annie said as he rolled up a third white scarf, and then cleave gagged her with it before he did the same to Bobbie. He then rolled up a fifth scarf, and said “I want to thank you for allowing us to spend this birthday party with you, Chrystine, and I hope you have fun afterwards.”
“Thanks for helping out,” Chrystine said before he gaged her, and then helped her to lie in the middle of the bed, he and Mrs Smith helping Annie and Bobbie to lie either side of her. They then tied more ropes between the ankles of each of them, and secured the other ends to the foot of the bed as Chrystine watched Elsie’s eyes slowly close.
“Now comes the fun bit,” Mister Smith said as Susan kissed Elsie’s head with her gagged lips, “stay still for a while, and then see if you can get free. Your mum and your gran will be the judges – and there is a very, very special prize for whoever manages.”
Annie and Bobbie nodded as the couple left them in the room, and then they rolled onto their sides as Chrystine looked at them.
“Nnhh,” Bobbie said as she shook her head, “Ghrrhnhhdhdthrhbuh?”
Chrystine nodded as the two girls wriggled round, and Annie said “ghrrhnenee?”
Chrystine smiled, the scarf at the corners of her mouth getting damper as she kissed them both on the head, then looked at Susan as her daughter nodded. Her other two granddaughters wriggled round, their boots squeaking as they rubbed together, while she slowly turned her head. The clock on the radio showed it was five, and they were due home at six. She had seen Mister Smith pull the telephone wires from the wall, so she reckoned it would take another hour after that before her son in law came to see where they were, and they would be freed.
And, in the meantime, as they had promised, they were unhurt, and they were having fun…