Generations – Surprise
The cherry blossom was blooming on the trees as Hani and her daughter Yui stepped out of the station and onto the main street. Hani was in her early fifties, while Yui was twenty one, both having travelled from the city to the suburbs to pay a surprise visit to Hani’s mother.
“It is a beautiful day,” Hani said with a smile as she ran her hand through her greying dark hair. She was wearing a green smock with a floral pattern over a grey roll neck sweater, the top over a pair of black pants, the legs just covering the tops of her black felt boots.
Yui nodded as she felt the soft breeze on her body. She was wearing a purple shirt dress that barely came down her lower legs, a purple bead necklace round her neck. The white leather boots she was wearing came up to her knees, and laced up the front, as she adjusted the strap of her handbag on her shoulder.
“It is indeed – you are sure Sobo is not expecting us?”
“Of course not,” Hani said with a smile, “otherwise it would not be a surprise visit, would it?”
Yui’s grandmother, Sakura, was a novelist who had just had her tenth book published. Their visit was to give her a congratulatory gift, one chosen by both of them. The two women walked along the street and then turned to the left, nodding to people as they passed them, making their way to the residential areas that sat behind the commercial buildings, and eventually stopping at a single storey building set back from the road.
“Well, no time like the present,” Hani said quietly as they walked up to the front door and knocked. There was no response, so Yui opened the door as both women walked in.
“Mother,” Hani said quietly, “it’s only Yui and I. We wanted to come and say…”
As the two women walked into the front room, they saw Sakura sitting in as chair, looking at both of them. The older woman was wearing a black waistcoat over a peach coloured woollen dress, black leather boot son her lower legs – but she was not in a position to answer them.
This was mainly due to the fact she had a rolled up cloth stuffed into her mouth, the edges visible between her lips, as she looked at her daughter and granddaughter. Her arms were around the back of the wooden chair she was sat on, and both of them could see the band of white rope that held her ankles tightly together as she struggled.
“Sobo? Who has done this to you?”
Sakura twisted round in the chair as she tried to warn her family of the danger that was approaching – but they ran to her instead, so that when they heard the man say “well now, company?” they both turned round to look.
Two men were standing there, wearing smart dark suits, white shirts and thin black ties, dark glasses over their eyes. One of them smiled as he raided his gloved hand, a pistol in it, and said “well, it is not good to spend this sort of time alone – I am sure they will be more than willing to join you, Sobo.”
“I think they must be family,” the second man said with a smile, “so they’re not going to do anything that would result in an elder being harmed – are they?”
Hani and Yui looked at each other, and then both raised their hands in the air as Sakura let her head fall forward. She had been taken captive by them an hour before, and as she felt the rope holding her wrists together behind the chair back, she wondered what else they were going to do with her. They had already been to raid her bedroom…
“I admire your style – so complimentary,” the man with the gun said as he looked at Hani and Yui. “so we shall ensure you complement each other in every way.”
“Please,” Hani said quietly, “allow my mother to talk to us?”
“OF course,” the second man said as he walked over and eased the rolled up cloth out of Sakura’s mouth, both of them noting how damp the cloth was as Sakura coughed.
“I am so sorry,” she said as she looked at her family, “I had no way of warning you…”
“It is all right, Sobo,” Sakura said quietly, “so far I am unharmed, if – unable to move much.”
“A situation I assure you will rectify in due course,” the man said as he looked at the other two women. “Please, kneel down and put your hands behind your backs.”
“Do as they say,” Sakura said quietly, the other two nodding as they slowly knelt on the wooden floor. The second man went to the side, looking in a black pilot’s bag and removing two lengths of rope which he carried over to where they were.
“Put your hands behind your back,” he whispered into Yui’s ear, the young woman nodding as she did so and she felt the soft rope on her wrists.
“this… this does not feel so bad…”
“It is silk rope – soft, but strong,” the man said as he pulled the rope around Yui’s wrists, forcing them together as the rope went around and between her limbs. Tying the ends off, he then went to her side, taking her mother’s arms behind her back and using the second length of rope to secure them together as well. As they did this, his partner took a much longer length of rope and started to wrap it around Sakura’s upper body, forcing it against the chair back as the bands formed above and below her chest, her waistcoat forced to the sides as he did so.
“Don’t hurt my mother,” Hani said as she watched the man securing her more and more.
“It is all right, Hani,” Sakura said quietly, “it is strangely – comfortable.”
“As you will now discover for yourself,” the man behind Hani said as she saw the band of white rope pass over her head, and then felt it tighten under her own chest, her arms forced to her sides as she watched.
“No, please, do not do that to me,” Yui said quietly as she watched the way her mother’s upper body was bound, the way the bands of rope framed her chest, the way her blouse stretched over her chest as it opened slightly.
“Oh no – it is important the family stays the same way,” the man whispered as he pulled the ropes around her mother tighter, and then fed it under one arm, up and around the back of her neck and under the other arm before he tied it off.
“Do not fight them,” Hani said as she twisted round, watching the two men as one of them knelt in front of Sakura and folded the skirt of her dress back, while the other man took another long length of rope from the bag, and walked back to walk behind Yui, passing the doubled over rope around her upper body and then pulling it tight behind her so that it pressed down on her chest.
She was fascinated by the way it made her daughter look, band after band forcing her chest up and out, her arms into her sides as she turned and looked at her mother, the fear clear in her eyes. Hani then looked at her own mother, as the second man secured her legs together below her knees, the rope going around and between her legs and sitting on the top of her boots as she twisted round.
“Mother, are you all right?”
“That – is a very good question,” Sakura said as she looked at her daughter and granddaughter, Yui’s dress now stretched over her breasts as she twisted round. There was a look in her eyes as the rope was pulled tighter and tighter, and then a sift gasp from her lips as the gloved hands brushed over her breasts, while the rope went under her arms and around the back of her neck.
“We found a safe in your bedroom,” the man said to Sakura as he stood up, “the combination please.”
“All right,” the older woman said as she gave a set of numbers, watching as Yui and Hani were made to sit next to each other against the wall, their binder walking to the bag and coming back with four more lengths of rope. Kneeling next to Hani, he smiled as he crossed her ankles, and then wrapped a doubled over rope around them, the rope compressing the soft black fabric as it was pulled tighter with each pass.
“Thank you – now I require you to open your mouth again.”
“We… We will talk later,” Sakura said, her daughter and granddaughter nodding as they watched the man push a small red sponge ball into Sakura’s mouth, and then press a long, wide length of white tape over her mouth as she sat there, immobilised, watching as the man then went over and began to bind her granddaughter’s legs in the same way as Hani.
Hani was watching her own legs, looking at the way the black fabric was lightening under the tight bands of rope while her own legs were being secured together below her knees. It was the strangest of experiences – but somehow, knowing she was not alone in this was making it easier to bear.
As for Yui, she grunted and tried to move her legs, the squeak of leather on leather the only other sound as the rope was tied off behind her heels, and then a further length wrapped around her legs, rubbing on the bare flesh below her knees as her legs were further secured.
“I need you to open your mouth, and then you will be quiet.”
“Do I have a choice,” Hani asked as she looked at the man.
She nodded as she opened her mouth, feeling the sponge ball as it expanded behind her teeth, pressing her tongue down and filling the space as she closed her lips. She then felt the tape tugging on the skin round her mouth as he pressed it gently down, forming it to the contours of her face as she realised it was not possible to do more than twist her face.
She looked over at Sakura, who nodded as she twisted round in the chair. The ropes held her body firmly in place. She was aware of the damp patches under her arms and on her chest, where the sweat was turning the colour darker, and of the fact her own legs seemed to be squeaking as she twisted them round. But she knew it was not possible to try and do anything so long as the two men were there – and as they stood up, she watched Yui trying to speak, the tape moving and the shape of her lips visible under the white tape even though no real sound was coming out.
“I’m going to check that safe – watch them.”
The second man nodded as he sat down, Yui looking at her grandmother, then at her grandmother as they both wriggled round. Why did she feel so safe, when she should be terrified? They were respecting them, and she felt certain they would come to no more harm, but could she be certain?
As she struggled, the top buttons of her dress started to come undone, and she was aware of the fact that the cool air was hitting the top of her chest. She stopped for a moment, looking at the man, but the sunglasses hid whatever he was truly looking at.
“Hltrrhrhshbh,” the young woman said as she looked at her grandmother. Sakura knew she was safe, somehow the certainty of that was clear to her, but she did not want her granddaughter to appear in any way – disrespected.
The man watching them made no sound, no movement, nothing to disturb the quiet as the three women settled, certain only of the uncertainty of what might happen when the other man returned…
When he came in, the man stood without a word and joined him in the doorway.
“Our apologies that we must leave you this way,” he said as both men bowed, and then they left, the lights turned on as Hani looked first at Yui, then at Sakura. They all listened, immobile as they heard the footsteps, then the door open and close before Hani started to twist herself round, trying to find some give in the ropes that held her limbs fast.
“Nhhhmnht,” Hani said as she felt the sweat under her arms and the back of her knees, twisting round as her smock rose up under the ropes.
“Whhhnhtshbh,” Yui said as she looked at Sakura.
The two other women looked at each other – that had not occurred to them, as Hani instead started to rub the side of her cheek on the seat behind her, hoping the tape that was holding fast would eventually started to give way.
Yui looked round the room, and then noticed the bag that her mother had placed on the floor when they both came in. Slowly, carefully, she started to shuffle her body along the floor as Sakura watched, wondering what was going on.
IT seemed a strange thing to be doing, as she heard the nasal pants of Yui crossing the floor, bending her knees and pushing herself across the wooden floor, while Hani patiently rubbed her cheek against the seat, convinced the tape would eventually start to come away.
Yui grunted as she felt with her fingers behind her, and then tipped the bag over, turning it round and then holding it by the bottom as a box slowly slid out. Looking over her shoulder, she nodded as she started to pick at the tape at the top of the box, Sakura wondering what it was she was trying to get out.
What emerged was a round tower, about six inches tall, which she managed to stand on the end as she reached round it. At the same time, Sakura noticed the tape was indeed coming away from her daughter’s mouth, Hani opening her lips and pushing the wet sponge ball from her mouth as a blue light appeared on the tower.
“This was meant to be a surprise, mother,” she said as she looked at Sakura, and then when Yui nodded she called out “ALEXA! CALL POLICE!”