Heidi in Charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a cold wind blowing outside on the February morning, so the lunch recess was being held indoors in the cafeteria.  As the various groups of students found their place, two in particular were making their way to a far corner.  One was about five foot six tall, with blonde hair that came down to just below her neck, and was wearing a blue v-necked sweater over a white t-shirt, jeans and knee length brown leather boots.  The other girl was slightly smaller, with short dark hair, and was wearing a blue denim bib dress over a grey long sleeved top, dark leggings and mid-length black boots.

 

“Did you get it,” the dark haired girl asked as they sat down.  Her friend nodded and produced from her satchel a large photograph, which she passed over.  It showed the two of them, along with their friends and mothers, all sat in a large room, tightly bound and gagged as they smiled from their positions at the camera.

 

“Ali’s dad really knows how to take a good photo,” the dark haired girl said as she put the photo down, “Has Nats seen it yet?”

 

“Seen what,” another girl said as she sat with them.  She was wearing a baggy light brown jumper with a long glowing skirt, and even though the temperature was near freezing she had no shoes or socks on her feet, a rope bracelet around her left ankle.

 

“Are you trying to get into trouble again, Natalie Jenkins,” the blonde haired girl said as she took a bite from her sandwich.

 

“What from the principle, Heidi?”

 

“No you doofus - from your mother.  If you catch a cold, what is she likely to do?”

 

“Confine me forcibly to bed for a week - which sounds fun, but...”  Natalie reached into her bag and drew out a pair of sandals, which she slipped onto her feet.  “So, let’s see it.”

 

Heidi handed her the photo, which Natalie glanced over.  “Your mums look happy together,” she said as she handed the photo back, “Have they said anything to you two yet?”

 

“About what,” the dark haired girl said in an innocent tone as she picked up a carton of juice and began to drink from it.

 

“Cindy,” Natalie said as she sat with her chin in her hands, looking at her two friends, “You two must have realised...”

 

“Yes, we have,” Heidi said quietly, “But they haven’t said anything to us - and we’re getting a bit frustrated about that.  Other people have noticed, and there have been one or two remarks.”

 

“Who?”  Natalie looked at both of them.  “Let me know, and I will personally...”

 

“Do nothing,” Cindy said quietly.  “We’re going to force the issue - our way.  This weekend, our mothers are going to have to tell us.”

 

“Sounds intriguing,” Natalie said with a smile.   “Jannifer and Alice in on this?”

 

“Nope,” Heidi said quietly, “Jannifer is away this weekend with the family, and Alice has a gymnastics contest.  Are you and your mother still coming over on Saturday?”

 

Natalie nodded.  “Why?”

 

“Because,” Heidi said with a smile, “Whatever plans our mothers have for this weekend are going to be rather rudely changed....”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I really do not like the look of that sky.”

 

Amy Strong was standing in the doorway of the house, looking out over the angry grey clouds that seemed to be hanging over them like a portent of doom.  A grey silk scarf was tied in a band over her hair, and she was wearing a grey silk sweater and slacks, the bottom of her short boots peeping out from the cuffs.

 

Heidi was in the kitchen, helping to prepare lunch.  She was rather less well dressed, wearing a grey sweatshirt and joggers, with thick white socks pulled up over her ankles.   Her aunt Veronica was at the sink, washing some salad leaves.

 

 

Veronica was a little taller than her sister, and was wearing a thick gillet over her blue jumper, jeans and black slippers.  She had her hair tied back as well, and as she dropped the salad leaves into a bowl she said “Don’t worry, Amy - they’ll be here soon enough, and then after lunch we can all head to the mall.”

 

“Here’s Dorothy now,” Amy said as she came back in, followed closely by Cindy and her mother.  They had left their coats and winter boots in the hallway, revealing the white jumper and light grey trousers that Cindy was wearing, and the green woollen jersey dress that was on Dorothy Elsworth, complete with green suede knee length boots.

 

“It is freezing out there,” Dorothy said as she hugged the two toher women, “Is there any chance of a coffee?”

 

The door bell rang at that moment, and Heidi said “I’ll get it” as she went to see who was calling.   She opened the door to see Natalie standing there with her mother Katherine - and for once, Natalie was wearing a pair of thick boots on her feet, and had a thick scarf wrapped around her face under the hood of her parka jacket.

 

“Hello Heidi,” Katherine said as she came in, taking off her great coat to reveal a black roll necked sweater under a white blouse, and a knee length black skirt with thick tights over her legs.  She pulled off the fur boots she had on her feet, while Heidi closed the door, the first flakes of snow falling through the sky outside.

 

 

“You can take your coat off as well, Nats,” Heidi said, but to her surprise Natalie shook her head.  Heidi looked at her for a moment, and then said “Don’t tell me you’re...”

 

“She is,” Katherine said as she unfastened Natalie’s coat and took it off, to reveal that the young girl had her wrists tightly bound together behind her back with rope, the cords going round her waist as well.  She had on the same jumper and skirt as earlier in the week, but as the scarf was taken off a large pad of brown plaster could be seen over her mouth, and the way her cheeks were padded out it was obvious something was under the gag.

 

“Her choice,” Katherine said as she helped her daughter to remove the boots, revealing a long pair of grey socks on her legs.  “Seems she wanted to come prepared - any idea what she’s on about?”

 

“Who, me?” Heidi replied, her face a picture of innocence.  Katherine shook her head as she heard Amy say “Is that you, Kath?  Fresh coffee in here,” then headed for the kitchen as Cindy came out.

 

“Good grief, Nats, couldn’t you wait,” Cindy said as their friend looked at her, shaking her head.  “Come on then,” Heidi said as she led Nats to the front room, “Let’s get you settled in here before Cindy and I get to work.”

 

 

 

 

“Is it my imagination, or is it snowing outside?”

 

Veronica walked over to the kitchen window and looked out.  “It’s February, Dorothy - what do you expect?”  Turning back to the other three women, Veronica sipped from her cup, before saying “They’re very quiet in there.”

 

“Well, I know Nats is,” Katherine said with a smile, “I guess the other two are just keeping her company.  Anyway, when do you want to head off?”

 

“You four ladies are going nowhere.”

 

The four turned to see Heidi and Cindy standing in the doorway, both with black balaclavas covering their heads, and pointing water pistols at them.  Amy swallowed, before saying “Who are you,” playing along as she raised her hands above her head.

 

“We already have the kid tied up,” Cindy said as she waved her gun towards the door, “You four - move.”

 

“Here we go again,” Dorothy whispered to Amy as they all put their hands on their heads and marched into the living room.  As they walked in, they saw Natalie lying face down on the couch, her ankle and legs tightly bound and her skirt falling down around her waist - largely because her ankles had been pulled back and secured tightly to her chest ropes.  A black sleep mask covered her eyes, and they could see a pair of earplugs in her ears.

 

“You two,” Cindy said as she looked at Amy and Dorothy, two lengths of rope coiled in her hand, “Take these and tie the wrists of your friends behind their backs.”

 

“Why are you doing this,” Veronica said, playing along with a smile on her face, “What do you want from us?”

 

“You’ll find out - eventually,” Heidi said.  “Come on - get their wrists secured.”

 

“We’d better do as they say - they look dangerous,” Amy said as she took the ropes from Cindy and handed one to Dorothy.  “Girls, put your hands behind your back - we’ll try to be gentle.”

 

“First time for everything then,” Veronica said as she turned and crossed her wrists behind her back, looking over her shoulder as her sister doubled the rope over and bound them tightly together, while Dorothy did the same to Katherine. 

 

“Now their arms,” Heidi said as she handed their mothers longer lengths of rope.  “I guess they mean business,” Dorothy said as she wrapped the rope around Katherine’s stomach, pulling her arms tightly into her body as she passed it round her several times.

 

“True,” Katherine said as she felt her body being tightly bound, “but on the other hand, I don’t think they mean us any real harm - they just want us out of the way for some reason.”

 

As Veronica felt Amy tie the ropes off, she turned and sat against the couch that Natalie was lying on, Katherine next to her.  They both watched as Amy and Dorothy knelt in front of them, bending their knees before they were passed two lengths of rope each, and told to bind their captive’s ankles and legs together.

 

“Do you think we’ll get to the mall later then,” Veronica said quietly as she felt her legs coming together, the rope going around them below her knees.

 

“I hope so - at least the stores stay open late,” Katherine replied as she watched her own legs been tied, and then Dorothy moving them down and adjusting her skirt.

 

“Right,” Cindy said as she held out two sponge balls and a roll of brown sticking plaster, “Gag both of them.”

 

“Once you’ve done that,” Heidi continued as she held out two sleep masks and two sets of ear plugs, “Blindfold them and plug their ears, then kneel on the floor facing each other, hands behind your backs.”

 

The two girls watched as their mothers completed the gagging of the other two, the tape covering their mouths before the masks and ear plugs were added, and then knelt in the middle of the floor facing each other.

 

“Now then,” Heidi said to Cindy, “Open wide.”

 

Amy and Dorothy looked at each other, and then opened their mouths, allowing their daughters to push the sponge balls into their mouths.  Amy could feel the sponge expanding inside her mouth, pushing her tongue down as Amy tore a strip of plaster off and smoothed it over her mouth, then passed the roll to Cindy to do the same to her mother.

 

“Now, then,” Amy said as she looked at both of them, “We want you two to be happy, so hug each other.”

 

“Mmmwwyy,” Dorothy said as she looked at Cindy.

 

“Mum,” Cindy said quietly, “We know - we both know.  So do as you’re told, and we’ll make sure you have some quality time together.”

 

The two women looked at each other, then at their daughters, before Dorothy mumbled “whtdukn?”

 

“Mum, just hug Amy,” Cindy said as she patted her mother’s shoulder.  Amy looked at Dorothy, and smiled, her lips visible under the plaster gag as she put her arms around Dorothy and hugged her closer.

 

“That’s better,” Cindy said as she crossed Amy’s wrists and tied them tightly together.  Dorothy nodded as she put her head on Amy’s shoulder and held her close as well, Heidi binding her wrists tightly together as well before she started to tie her mother’s ankles tightly together.

 

As Cindy did the same thing for her mother, Heidi secured Dorothy’s wrists to Amy’s ankles, and then started to tie their legs together just above their knees so that they were bound together.  Cindy secured her mother in the same way, and then started to bind them together around their waists, and then their arms and upper bodies.

 

As they did this, they could see both Dorothy and Amy moving their hands up and down the other’s back, and moving their chins on each other’s shoulders, low hums coming from both of them in their gagged mouths.

 

“Time for lights out,” Amy said as she fixed a sleep mask over her mother’s eyes, and then pushed a pair of earplugs into her lobes, watching as Cindy did the same to her mother.  Both Amy and Dorothy nodded as the two girls walked into the kitchen, opening the fridge and taking out two cans of soft drink as they sat at the table.

 

“Do you think they’re going to be mad at us,” Cindy said as she opened the can and took a drink.

 

“Who knows - but at least they know we know, and we know they know we know, so in a way everybody knows - right?”

 

Cindy nodded as she put the can down.  “Did you see the pastor’s wife on Sunday last?  Normally she has all the time in the world for Mum, but this week she almost totally ignored her.”

 

“I thought she was busy trying to get up the usual support for the March Fayre?”

 

“She was,” Cindy said, “and Mum usually runs the refreshments area.  Not this year - and I think it’s because she’s unhappy at what has happened with her and your mother.”

 

Heidi put her can down and looked at Cindy.  “Then she’s the one with the problem,” she finally said as she looked out of the window, then back to Cindy.

 

“Cindy,” she finally said, “We need to get Nats in here and let her see this.”

 

“See what?”

 

“That,” Heidi said as she pointed out of the window.

 

 

 

Natalie blinked as the sleep mask was taken off her eyes, and she saw Cindy standing over her.  She put her fingers to her lips, then started to untie her friend, helping her to stand up and stretch out as she walked past the four adults.

 

As she entered the kitchen, Nats reached up and pulled the plugs from her ears, then peeled the plaster away from her mouth, crumpling it in her hand as she spat out a small white handkerchief.

 

“How long,” she finally said as she sat down and pulled her socks off, wriggling her toes as she sat in the chair.

 

“Well,” Heidi said as she looked at the clock, “you’ve been here for two hours - how long before that?”

 

“Mum taped my mouth and tied my wrists just before we set off, so that makes it three hours,” Nats said with a smile.  “So why did you release me now - is it time to go to the mall?”

 

“Take a look out of the window and tell me,” Heidi said.  Standing up, Natalie walked over to the window by the kitchen sink and looked out into the grey-white scene outside.

 

“Ah,” she said, “I see what you mean.  I don’t think we’re going to be going anywhere for a while.  Where did Mum put my bag?”

 

“Hallway,” Heidi said as she picked up the telephone in the kitchen and dialled a number.

 

“Maria - it’s Heidi.  Have you looked outside?

 

“Yeah, I know - Aunt Veronica is probably going to stay here tonight at least.  Will you be safe at the house?

 

“All right - I’ll let her know.  We’ll talk to you later, hopefully.”  As she put the handset back, Natalie came back in, talking on her cell phone.

 

“It’s all right Dad - I’m her with Veronica and the others, and I’m sure I can borrow some stuff when I need it.  No way can we even think of coming back at the moment.

 

“Yeah - I’ll get Mum to call you later.  She’s a little tied up at the moment.

 

“Yeah, I know Dad, I’ll tell her that.  Talk to you later.”

 

Ending the call, she looked at Heidi and Cindy.  “So when are you planning on telling our parents?”

 

“Not yet,” Heidi said with a smile, “Let them enjoy their time first...”

 

 

 

 

The first Veronica knew that her time was coming to an end was when she felt her legs being untied, and then was helped to her feet.  She walked silently, lost in her own lack of sense until she felt herself been sat down, and the blindfold removed from her eyes.

 

She blinked for a few minutes, then saw that she was in Amy’s kitchen, sitting on a chair as Heidi and Cindy brought Katherine in.  “We’ll explain in a minute,” Natalie said as she poured water into the coffee machine, while the other two removed Katherine’s blindfold, then allowed both women to speak and hear again.

 

“That was insane,” Katherine said as she shook her head.  “I felt as if I was back in your house, Veronica, spending the night.”

 

“Yeah - it had a taste of that.  Even with the earplugs in, it felt so quiet and peaceful, like nothing was moving outside.”

 

Heidi smiled and said “Funny you should say that - take a look outside.”

 

The two women looked at each other, then stood up and walked over to the window, staring out at the white, silent landscape.

 

“Oh dear God,” Veronica said quietly, “I haven’t seen a white out like this for years.  I think the Mall is a no-no, Kath.”

 

“Slight understatement,” Kath said as she looked out.  “Natalie, will you untie me please?”

 

“It’s all right, Mum - I called Dad when we realised what was happening.”

 

“Oh,” Katherine said as she looked at Natalie, “and what did he say?”

 

“He said, and I quote, ‘Hunker down and wait for rescue’.”

 

“Yeah,” her mother replied as she looked at Veronica.  “I guess we’re going to be staying here a while.  So who’s in charge?”

 

“I am.”

 

The other four turned and looked at Heidi.

 

“Look,” she said quietly, “I know you’ve been trying to protect me, Aunt Veronica, but Cindy and I figured out a while back about Mum and Dorothy.”

 

Veronica smiled as she sat down.  “I told you they were smart kids,” she said to Katherine as Natalie looked at her friends.

 

“Figured what out?  They’re still both your mothers, and...”  She stopped for a moment, thinking of how they had looked when she had passed them in the front room, their heads on each other’s shoulders with their heads turned to the side.

 

“Ah,” she said as she sat down.  “Ah - and how long has it been going on?”

 

“Just what I was going to ask Aunt Veronica,” Heidi said as she leaned against the breakfast bar, while Cindy untied the two older women.

 

“For a while - I guess it started last summer.  They didn’t want to hurt you, but I guess the fact they’re a couple has become a little more public.  Your mum told me about last Sunday.”

 

“The pastor’s wife?  Cindy said something had happened.”

 

“Yeah - she quoted Romans 1 26 and Leviticus 18 22 at your mother,” Veronica said as she looked at her niece.

 

“Mum would have loved that - what happened?”

 

“Dorothy did - she quoted John 8 7 back at her, and the sanctimonious little hypocrite walked off.  Reminded her of the fact we saw her a month or so back with the husband of another...  Well, anyway, they were going to tell you tonight at dinner.  Looks like that’s off though.”

 

“I’m going to cook dinner - with the help of Cindy and Nats,” Heidi said quietly.  “We’re stuck indoors at least for tonight, and our mums are going to be treated like the royalty they are.”

 

“You know,” Veronica said, “I see more of Amy in you every day.  All right - what can we do?”

 

Heidi walked over and kissed her aunt on the cheek.  “I guess you should see if you can find some clothes for Dorothy and Katherine, especially if they are staying the night here.  The three of us are going to see what we can rustle up with what’s in the fridge.

 

“And your mums?”

 

“Leave them for the moment - we’ll take care of them later.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy blinked as the sleep mask was taken off her eyes, and she felt her arms been released from Amy’s ankles.

 

She saw Amy looking at her, nodding as Cindy knelt behind her, slowly untying and removing the ropes that held them together.  There was a nod of the head before she brushed her tape gag against Amy, then stood up and stretched.

 

“What time is it,” she eventually said as she looked round, the room in a strange grey dim light.

 

“Six o’clock,” Natalie said as she piled the ropes on the couch.  “You need to look out of the window.

 

Both Amy and Dorothy stood up and walked over to the window, looking out over the white covered houses and streets as they rubbed their wrists.

 

“Holy...” Dorothy said as she noticed for the first time the thick white flakes falling onto the ground, “We’re snowed in, aren’t we?”

 

“Looks that way,” Veronica said as she came into the room, “but we’ll make the best of it.  Right now, you should go and clean up - dinner will be ready in a few minutes.”

 

“Great - who’s cooking?”

 

“Wait and see - on you go now, get going.  Tonight - you are doing nothing except what you are told.”

 

“Oh - who says so?”

 

“The mistress of the house - now get moving...”

 

“The mistress of...  Why do I get the distinct feeling I have been usurped,” Amy said as she and Dorothy walked up the stairs,

 

“Because you have - we all have,” Veronica said from the bottom of the staircase, before turning and walking back into the kitchen.

 

Fifteen minutes later, both Amy and Dorothy walked into the dining room, to be met by Katherine and Natalie.  “Please,” Natalie said as she pulled two chairs out, “Sit down, and then put your hands on your heads.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because we have been told to tell you that,” Katherine said as she held up a number of lengths of rope.  “Now, unless you want to be spoon fed, you need to do as we ask.”

 

“Tempting,” Amy said as she sat down, “but I’ll pass on that for now.  You have your instructions, right?”

 

“Right,” Katherine said as she passed a length of rope around Amy’s stomach and pulled her against the chair back, securing her in place before she knelt at the side and pushed her left leg against the chair leg, lashing it into place.  As she moved round to the other side, Amy looked over at Dorothy, who was been secured into place by Natalie, the rope clearly visible over the dark green suede.

 

“I guess we’re going to be staying the night,” Dorothy finally said as Nats tied off the last rope, “but I haven’t got any clothes or things with me.”

 

“Everything is in hand,” Katherine said as she and her daughter moved both women so that they were sat under the chair, while the door from the kitchen opened and Cindy came in, carrying two plates of vegetables which she placed on the table.

 

“Hi mum,” she said as she looked at Dorothy, “I guess you know who’s in charge now?”

 

“You and Heidi, right?”

 

“Actually,” Katherine said as she took a seat and put her hands on her head, “All three of them are.  Veronica and I are allowed to help, but...”  She raised her eyebrows as Natalie and Cindy tied her to the chair and helped slide her to the table.

 

“Excuse us a minute,” Cindy said as she and Natalie left the room, and Veronica came in, helping Amy to carry four plates with pork cutlets on them.

 

“Enjoy your afternoon so far,” she said to Amy and Dorothy as she set two plates down in front of them, and then sat herself down as Cindy brought in two pitchers of iced water.

 

“What the heck happened with the weather,” Amy said as Cindy set the pitchers down, and then helped Heidi to secure Veronica to a chair.

 

“The white out?  Exciting, isn’t it,” Veronica said as she watched her legs while the rope went round them, and then shuffled her chair in as well.  “I’m afraid we’re all staying the night, but the girls have shown a lot of the right stuff already.”

 

“True,” Katherine said, “Natalie called home, Heidi called Veronica’s house, and then they found this stuff for our dinners - cooked it themselves too.”

 

“I guess they are growing up,” Amy said as she looked to the kitchen door.  Dorothy looked at her food, and then said quite matter of factly “They know, don’t they?”

 

“Of course they do, Dorothy,” Veronica said, “I think they’ve known for some time, but you two just could not find the right time to tell them.  Well, right here and now is as good a time as any - we’re not going anywhere.”

 

“No you’re not,” Heidi said as the three girls came in, each carrying their own plates as they sat at the table.  “Now, eat - I don’t think we burned it too badly.”

 

“You didn’t burn it at all,” Amy said as she spooned some peas and potatoes onto the plate, “Thanks.”  The group ate in silence for a while, enjoying the food and rest before Natalie said “So what do you think we should do after dinner?  Looks like it’s going to be a long night.”

 

“Truth or dare,” Veronica said, “after all, it always leads to some interesting thoughts...”

 

“Not tonight,” Heidi said as she put her knife and fork down.  “Mum, when were you going to tell me and Cindy what was going on?”

 

Dorothy looked at Heidi and Cindy, before saying “In all truth, girls, we’ve wanted to tell you for some time, but neither of us was sure of the best way of approaching it.  We were worried that it might upset you.”

 

“Mum,” Cindy said quietly, “You always taught me to accept people as they are, even if we had to hide who we were for so long.  Why do you think I would love you any less because you and Amy are a couple, then if you found some other man?”

 

“I know,” Dorothy said, “but what are your friends going to say?”

 

“Nothing, if they have any sense,” Katherine said, but Heidi just shook her head.  “Mum, you remember Alicia’s friend Cathy?”

 

“Of course I do,” Amy replied, “We met her when we went over for the New Year celebrations and the birthdays.”

 

“Well, she has two mothers, and she seems perfectly normal - well, as normal as any of our friends are.  Seriously, Mum, we think it’s fantastic that you two are together - and, well, screw anyone who says otherwise.”

 

“HEIDI STRONG!” Veronica said as she put her cutlery down, “Do you think such language is appropriate?”

 

“Actually,” Heidi said as she picked up her knife and fork and cut a piece of pork free, “I do.  Why?”

 

“Good,” Veronica said with a smile,”because I think you’re right.  Now then, what’s for pudding?”

 

The three girls smiled at each other as they collected up the plates and carried them through to the kitchen, leaving the four women alone for a few minutes.

 

“Amy,” Katherine finally said, “You and Dorothy have done a fantastic job of bringing those girls up.  You should be proud of them.”

 

“I am,” Dorothy said, “after everything that has happened to them and us, they do seem to have become very level headed young women.”

 

“You think,” Veronica said as she took a sip of water.  “The three of them are growing up so fast, I think we sometimes don’t realise they are becoming young adults.”

 

“Right then,” Cindy said as she carried in two tubs of ice cream, “Bowls on their way, and then you can have some coffee while we get the dishes washed up.  After that, we thought we’ll give you four a chance to get changed and then we’ll make you nice and comfortable.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The clock was showing eight thirty by the time the four older women were released from their chairs.  “I laid out some nightclothes in the spare bedroom for you and me Katherine,” Veronica said, “and I’m sure Amy has something that Dorothy can use.”

 

The four women went upstairs, Amy and Dorothy going into Amy’s room while the other two headed for the spare bedroom.  “I should have a long nightdress here,” Amy said, but as she turned Dorothy took her by the arm and gently pulled her over.

 

“Relieved,” she said as she brushed Amy’s blonde hair away from her face.

 

“Yeah,” Amy said with a shy little smile, “but it only gets worse from here.”

 

“No,” Dorothy said, “It gets better...”

 

In the other room, Katherine was pulling a short sleeved pyjama top on, buttoning it up the front as she watched Veronica pulling on a pair of white cotton pyjama bottoms.

 

“So what do you think they have planned for us anyway,” she said as she took the white linen shorts and pulled them on, watching as Veronica pulled on the sweatshirt style top.

 

“With Heidi, I can never tell, and when she and Cindy get together it’s twice the trouble - but all three of them?  I honestly do not know what to expect for the rest of the evening.”

 

“Well then,” Katherine said as she smoothed down her top, “Let’s find out.”  The two women left the room, knocking on Amy’s door as Veronica said “You two decent yet?”

 

“What do you think,” Amy said as she opened the door.  She was wearing a powder blue baby doll nightdress, held up by thin spaghetti straps over her shoulders.  As for Dorothy, she was wearing a light pink vest top and matching shorts.

 

“Are we trying to regain our youth, O sister of mine,” Veronica said with a smile.  “Hands off my girl,” Dorothy said as they came out, walking down the stairs and entering the front room.

 

The lights had been turned off, and the room was lined with candles, the air scented as they all came in.  “Ah there you are,” Natalie said as they came in, “why don’t you all have a seat - tonight is a pamper night.”

 

“Oh,” Amy said as Heidi and Cindy brought in a selection of nail polishes, “and who’s going to do whose nails?”

 

“You four are doing nothing,” Natalie said as she held up a roll of thin white tape.  “Hands behind your backs please, palm to palm - you need to be able to do nothing except relax and let us get on with it while you talk.”

 

 

 

“All right, I accept what you’re saying - this is one hell of a way to relax during a snowstorm.”

 

Dorothy nodded slowly as Amy talked quietly out of the corner of her mouth, neither woman willing to move too much for fear of cracking the thick green paste that was covering their faces, nor dislodge the thin slices of cucumber that was covering their eyes.

 

Both women were sitting on the couch, their heads back and their wrist firmly taped together behind their backs, while their legs were resting on a small cushioned seat in front of them.  Their toes were separated by small sponges, save for their big toes which were taped together - as were their ankles and their legs below their knees.  Heidi and Cindy were sitting in front of them, applying bright red polish to the nails they had just finished manicuring.

 

Veronica and Katherine were sat in the two armchairs opposite, relaxing as they wriggled their hands behind their backs.  Their nails had already been done, and now Natalie was rubbing some foot cream into the soles of their feet.  From time to time they leaned over and sucked their iced tea through the straws that the girls had put in, given their wrists were securely taped.

 

“Did you teach Nats how tooooohhhh  -how to do this?”  Veronica let out her sigh as Natalie found a tense spot in the sole of her foot.

 

“You can thank her father for that,” Katherine said as she laid her head back, “He’s the sports injury expert in the household.  How does it look outside?”

 

Cindy stood up and walked over to the window, peering through the curtains.  “Well, the good news is that it has stopped snowing.  The bad news is - well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sky that looks gold and grey at the same time.”

 

“That means there is more snow on the way,” Veronica sighed as Natalie stopped her work and wiped her hands.  “So are you three planning to do your nails?”

 

“Maybe tomorrow,” Heidi said as she stood up, “Right now, we’re looking after you four.  Which reminds me - how long have our mums had those face packs for now?”

 

Cindy glanced over at the clock.  “An hour now - we’d better get some water and things to clean it off with.”

 

“That would be a very good idea,” Dorothy mumbled from the corner of her mouth as Natalie walked over and took off the cucumber slices, Amy nodding as she did so.  “I could do with going somewhere anyway.”

 

“Perhaps,” Heidi said as she found a wipe and started to remove the face pack from her mother’s face, “and then after that, we’ll prepare supper and put on a DVD.”

 

“Oh really,” Katherine said as she looked over, “And do we get a choice in what we watch?”

 

“Of course you do mum,” Natalie said, “You can watch it or listen to it blindfolded.  Which would you prefer?”

 

“Very considerate of you, dear,” Veronica said with a smile as Natalie wiped her hands off, and picked up a pair of scissors.  She quickly cut Veronica’s ankles and legs free, and helped her to stand up before cutting the tape around her wrists.

 

“I’ll take you up to the toilet,” she said as she looked at her mother, “once I’ve brought Veronica back down.  Until then, you can watch the others.”

 

“You know something.” Katherine said as she looked over at Amy, who was now sitting up while Heidi cleared the rest of the mask from her face, “we should have done this the night we girls got together - just sat round and pampered each other.”

 

“Well, I seem to recall someone having other plans,” Dorothy said as she too sat up.  “One of these days, we really need to thank Anne for that.”

 

“And Sue - don’t forget her,” Amy said as she accepted the straw from the glass of iced tea that Heidi was holding in front of her.  “I could do with something stronger that this, though.”

 

“Maybe later,” Heidi said, “before bed.  Right now, this is what you are getting, all right?”

 

“Yes, m’am,” Amy said in a slightly mocking tone, as the door opened and Natalie returned with Veronica, sitting her on the couch as she cut her foster mother free.  Katherine stretched her arms up and walked out with Natalie, as Veronica looked over at the other two women.

 

“So does that face pack work or not?  I told you the secret was in the avocado...”

 

“I guess it does work,” Amy said as she looked round, “it certainly feels cleaner, but I still think this is a little strange.  When are you going to cut us free?”

 

“Once Natalie comes back down,” Cindy said as she cleaned up the used wipes and other items, and put them into a plastic bag.  “Right now, you three get to decide where you want to spend the night - once we have put you both to bed, that is.”

 

“Well,” Dorothy said as she glanced at the two younger girls, “I know where I want to spend the night, if you’ll allow it.”

 

“We might,” Cindy said with a smile, “What about you Veronica?”

 

“I’ll use the spare room, if that’s all right.  I get the feeling Katherine wants to be with Nats anyway.  You two?”

 

“We need to be free, just in case - but we promise that you four get to surprise us in the morning instead.  The way the snow looks, I don’t think we’re going to get out to church anyway.

 

“Unlikely, I grant you,” Dorothy said as she looked towards the windows.  “All right - deal, now untie us.  We really do need to go to the toilet...”

 

 

 

“Now that was a chick flick.”

 

“Yeah, I know but honestly - would that really happen?”

 

“Want to see the article the film was based on?”

 

The three girls looked at Katherine as the closing credits of 27 Dresses ran down the screen.  “I’m joking, I’m joking,” Veronica said with a laugh.  “Although I do know a few people who always seem to be the bridesmaid and never the bride, that did not happen for real.”

 

She put her glass down on the table and let out a deep, long sigh before saying “Right - I’m tired, and I think you all are as well.  How are we going to make the arrangements for bed?”

 

Heidi stood up and picked up four silk scarves from the side of the bed.  “We’re going to take care of our mothers first,” she said as she looked at Cindy, “so we’re going to ask you two to stay down here for the moment - can you put your hands out in front of you please?”

 

“I guess we get to wait a while,” Veronica said as the two girls used the scarves to bind their wrists together, and then the second ones to bind their ankles.  “Can you put the television on until it is our turn - I’d like to watch Saturday Night Live if that is all right?”

 

“Sure,” Natalie said as she switched the television over to a different feed, and then followed Heidi and Cindy as they escorted their mothers up to Amy’s bedroom.  “I just need to make a pit stop,” Dorothy said as she went into the bathroom, so Cindy waited while Heidi took her mother into the bedroom.

 

As they approached the bed, Amy turned and hugged Heidi, kissing her on the forehead as she did so.  “That’s the first chance I’ve had to say thank you,” she said as she looked at her daughter.

 

“Thank you for what?”

 

“For being a wonderful daughter and friend,” Amy said as she wiped a tear away.  “Now, how are we going to be?”

 

“We’re going to give you some freedom to do what you want,” Amy said as she went to the wardrobe and took out a long coil of rope.  “We’ll start by securing your arms to your side, if that’s all right...”

 

Cindy smiled as she heard the toilet flush, and as Dorothy came out she wrapped her arms round her mother’s waist and hugged her.

 

“I’m glad you’re happy, mum,” she said eventually, “You deserve it.  Just tell me this does not mean my best friend is going to become my sister.”

 

Dorothy held her daughter close to her and said “Don’t worry Cindy - I don’t think wither Amy or I are going to be doing anything even remotely approaching getting married.  We have each other, and that’s enough.

 

“Now come on - I want to see how we’ll be sleeping tonight.”

 

As they walked into the bedroom, they saw Heidi helping Amy to lie on the bed.  Her arms were tightly secured to her sides, with rope running around above and below her nightdress top, encasing her chest in a harness.  Her wrists were crossed and tightly tied together in front of her, with a length of rope going round her waist.

 

“My turn I guess,” Dorothy said as Cindy picked up another coil of rope and passed it around her arms, pulling them tightly into her side as Heidi tied her mother’s ankles together, side by side.  Dorothy felt her arms being pulled in as her daughter ran the rope around her chest, pulling the pink material tightly over her as she was well secured, and then watched as Cindy crossed her wrists in front of her and tied them together.

 

Once she had fixed them to her lap with a length of rope around her waist, Cindy walked Dorothy over to the other side of the bed, helping her to lie down before she started to bind her mother’s legs as Heidi had bound Amyls with rope around her ankles, knees and thighs.

 

“Well, I guess we won’t be going anywhere until the morning,” Amy said as she pulled at her wrist and tried to lift her legs up.”

 

“Would you want to?”

 

She looked over at Dorothy and shook her head as Amy tore two strips of white tape from a roll, and Cindy folded two head scarves into pads.  “Open wide,” she said quietly, and their mothers allowed the cloth gags to be pushed into their open mouths, and then their lips to be sealed.

 

Heidi plugged in a baby monitor and said “I’ll switch the one downstairs on later,” before the two girls left them alone.  As the door closed, Amy rolled over onto her side and looked at Dorothy with her eyes, a smile barely visible under the tap as her friend moved closer and brushed her gagged mouth over Amy’s.

 

 

“All tucked in for the night?”  Veronica looked up at Cindy and Heidi, who nodded as they came in.

 

“Good,” Nats said as she stood up and stretched.  “Can you show Mum and me where Veronica is going to sleep, and can I borrow a sleep suit or something from you?  Then we can all come upstairs - I want to spend the night with my mothers.”

 

The five of them made their way up the staircase, and as Cindy showed Veronica and Katherine into the guest bedroom Heidi took Natalie into her own bedroom.

 

“I don’t have a sleep suit - my one is in the laundry,” she said as she opened a drawer, “but I have a shorts set you can use.”  She handed Natalie a powder blue vest top and shorts, sitting on the bed as her friend stripped off her clothes and pulled on the nightwear.

 

“Are your mums going to be all right,” Heidi said as she looked over at Heidi.

 

“Oh they’ll be fine - oh, you mean outside the house?”  Heidi pulled up her knees and looked at Natalie.  “So long as we support them, and people like your mother and Mrs Blackwood do so, then I don’t think they have anything to worry about.  There’s always going to be someone trying to score cheap points, but I hope we are stronger than that.”

 

“Well, you can count on Joanne and Alexa, you know that don’t you?”

 

Heidi nodded.  “I know - and that means a lot to both of us.  Right - there’s a spare toothbrush in the bathroom, and then I’ll take you to join the others.”

 

As Heidi and Nats walked into the spare bedroom a few minutes later, they saw that Cindy had already bound Veronica and Katherine’s wrists tightly together behind their backs, and secured them to their waists with a length of rope.  Nats looked at their crossed arms as Heidi guided her own wrists behind her back and crossed them, before she felt the soft rope encircling and fixing them together.

 

“Now then,” she said as she passed some rope around her friend’s waist and pinned her hands against the small of the back.  “What have they asked for Cindy?”

 

“The full treatment - no objections, Nats?”

 

“None whatsoever - and thanks Mum, Mum,” she said with a smile as she walked over and sat between Veronica and Katherine on the edge of the large bed.  Cindy and Heidi climbed on the bed behind them, and shook out three long coils of rope, doubling then over and passing them around their arms to hold them tightly to their sides.

 

As Nats watched Veronica and Katherine being bound, the rope going above and below their chests, she turned and said to Heidi “I want you to do to me exactly what you do to them - no going soft on me.”

 

“Natalie Jenkins,” Cindy said as she pulled the rope tight around Katherine’s body, “what made you imagine that just for one second we would go soft on you?  We would never hear the end of it if we did.”

 

“I know,” Nats replied as Heidi tied off the rope around her aunt’s body, and then moved behind her, “but I still think I needed to say it.”

 

She sighed as she felt her own body being restricted by the ropes around her arms, while Cindy climbed off the bed, kneeling in front of Veronica as she started to bind her ankles tightly together, side by side, and then her legs below her knees.  Moving over to Natalie, she worked on her friend while Heidi herself climbed off the bed and bound Katherine’s legs tightly together.

 

“Right,” Cindy said as she stood up, “We’ll put the gags in first, and then let you get as comfy as you want to be on the bed before we finish.”  She  walked over to the chest of drawers that were placed by the wall, and opened the top drawer, taking out three red bandanas which she folded into pads, and then passed two to Heidi.

 

“Talk to you both in the morning,” Veronica said before opening her mouth and allowing her niece to stuff the scarf in.

 

“Sleep well,” Katherine said before she too was stuff gagged, and then Natalie allowed herself to be silenced.  The three women sat still as both of the girls then took a roll of white medical tape each and wrapped it around their heads, sealing the scarves in their mouths before Veronica moved her legs onto the bed and shuffled over to the far side, rolling onto her stomach and watching silently as first Natalie, then Katherine followed suit.

 

“Fnku,” Veronica mumbled as Heidi pulled her legs back, and secured her ankles to the chest rope with a short length of rope, while Cindy did the same for Katherine.  Both girls then hogtied Natalie, before they pushed a set of foam plugs into the ears of each of them.

 

“Wllsushds?” Natalie mumbled as Heidi went back to the chest of drawers, then nodded in agreement as she saw her pick up three black silk hoods.

 

“We’ll put the baby monitor on before we go,” she said as one by one the three women were hooded, their eyesight cut off as blackness enveloped them, before they all moved slightly to try and make themselves more comfortable.  Cindy plugged in the baby monitor, and then turned the light off, waiting as Heidi collected two sleeping bags from her room before they descended to the living room.

 

Looking out of the window, they saw the perfect grey-red stillness of the street outside, with one or two people making their way through the deep snow drifts.  It was as if the world had come to a complete standstill, and everyone was in awe of the unusual peace and lack of noise.

 

“Calm before the storm?”

 

Heidi turned and looked at her friend in the faint light.  “Cindy, I have only one thing to say to that, and I never want it repeated outside these four walls.”

 

“Oh,” Cindy said as she put her hand through her dark hair, “and what’s that?”

 

“Screw them - come on, I’ll make some Hot Chocolate.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ijjsstwanafewmintsmrr,” Heidi mumbled as she turned in her sleeping bag, trying to ignore the gentle rocking on her shoulder as she turned over.

 

“Heidi, unless you really want to spend the rest of the day lashed into that sleeping bag, you have about two minutes to get up.”

 

She opened her eyes when she heard Nats speaking, and saw her friend standing there.  Looking over to the other couch, she could only see the empty sleeping bag.

 

“Cindy’s getting your mothers loose,” Natalie said as Heidi pushed herself out of the bag, “She heard me moving about when she went to the toilet, and cut me loose.  Veronica and Mum are still sleeping.”

 

“What time is it anyway,” Heidi said as she stood up and stretched.

 

“Eleven - I guess we all needed the sleep.  Oh - and there’s another reason you might want to get dressed.  Take a look out of the window.”

 

Heidi realised with a start that Natalie was back in her clothes from yesterday, and then heard the sound of someone shovelling snow outside.  “Who’s clearing the path,” she said as she glanced out of the window, only to see two Boy Scouts clearing the snow off the path.

 

“There’s already been a snow plough going down the road,” Cindy said as she came back in, “and I guess the boys need to be paid for their work.  Our mums are going to have a shower, and then I think they deserve some brunch.”

 

“We’ll take care of that,” Heidi said as she looked at Natalie.  “After that, I guess one of us is going to have to go outside and get some stuff to cook later.  With any luck, you’ll be able to get home tonight.”

 

“You’re forgetting something, both of you.”

 

Cindy and Heidi looked at each other, before Cindy said “What’s that?”

 

“The promise you made last night - so I’ll be the one who goes shopping later, once we have you two nice and secure.  Right now, you need to show me how to work the coffee maker.”

 

“What about the others?”

 

“Let’s wake them up the subtle way,” Natalie said with a smile.

 

Twenty minutes later, Veronica twitched as the scent of fresh coffee percolated through the silk covering her nose.  She twitched and tried moving, before remembering the way she had been left the night before.

 

She was also aware that there was a gap to her side.  Rolling over, she bumped into what she presumed was Natalie.

 

“Gdmmrnngnts,” she mumbled through the tape and cloth.

 

“Gdmrn,btsmm,” she heard a deeper voice than she expected saying, and she realised that it was Katherine she had bumped into.  “Cnusmlcff?”

 

“Mmm,” Veronica said as she felt the rope loosening between her wrists and the chest ropes, and her legs fell back onto the mattress with a tired thud.

 

“Morning Veronica,” she heard Cindy say, “Brunch is ready downstairs, as soon as you both have a chance to do whatever you have to do.  I’m going to untie you, but you can take your own hoods and other things off.”

 

The two women nodded as Katherine sighed when her legs hit the bed, waiting for the rest of the ropes to be removed.

 

Fifteen minutes later, Veronica walked into the dining room, sitting herself next to Amy as Heidi carried in a basket of steaming breakfast rolls.

 

“How did you two sleep then,” Katherine said as she came in and sat down.

 

“Who said we slept,” Dorothy said as she took a roll and broke it open, smiling at the look on Katherine’s face as she poured herself some orange juice.  “Joke - we both slept well, thank you.”

 

“What time is it anyway,” Veronica said as she glanced at the wall, and then let out a low whistle.  “I didn’t realise it was getting that late - what is Maria going to say?”

 

“Maria,” Heidi said as there was a knock on the front door,” called to say that the house is fine, and you can get back once the road is cleared.”  She picked up some notes and went to answer the door, as Cindy sat down next to her mother.

 

“I wonder if we were missed at the church this morning, Mum?”

 

“I doubt it - I very much doubt it,” Dorothy said as she poured herself some coffee.  “Where did you sleep anyway?”

 

“Heidi and I slept downstairs - but it took us a while to get off.  It was a little noisy upstairs.”  Amy blushed a little as Cindy said this, while Heidi came back in and sat down.

 

“I gave them 20 - they’ve cleared the path for us and around the cars,” she said as she grabbed a muffin and put some honey on it.

 

“Gave who what?”

 

“The Boy Scouts who have been clearing the paths and cars - I gave them twenty dollars, for doing such a good job.”

 

“Fair enough,” Cindy said, “We’ll all chip in for that.  At least it means we have a chance to get home tonight.”

 

“The local news is saying that the freeways are clear, so we just need the plough to come down this way again,” Katherine said as she sipped her coffee, “but it’s going to be tonight before that can happen.  Natalie and I are going to go out later and get some stuff for an early supper tonight - the local mart should be open.”

 

“Oh,” Veronica said, “and what will we be doing in the meantime?”

 

“Thanking Heidi and Cindy for their care during the night,” Natalie said as she looked at the other two, smiling a broad smile as she did so.  The other two girls looked at each other, and said one thing in unison.

 

“Uh-oh.”

 

“Oh yes,” Amy said, an evil smile spreading over her face, “they so selflessly said they were going to sacrifice their fun last night to look after us, and now it’s our turn, isn’t it Dorothy?”

 

“Why so it is,” Dorothy said as she set her coffee mug down, “so it is.  And you know what, Amy?  I think we should give them a similar treat to the one they gave us.”

 

“Well, that sounds nice - a face mask and manicure would be a good way to pass a Sunday afternoon,” Cindy said, hoping that was all her mother meant.

 

“I said similar, not exactly the same,” her mother replied.  “Finish your breakfast, and then go and get changed into t-shirts and shorts - we’ll get everything ready down here, and Veronica can do the washing up.”

 

 

 

 

As Heidi and Cindy walked back into the living room, they could see that their mothers had indeed prepared well for the task ahead. 

 

“We’ll be back in a little while - and thank you for the loan of the boots,” Nats said as she put her head through the door.

 

“No problem,” Heidi said as she turned round, “I’m glad they fit.”    She watched as Natalie and Katherine headed for the front door, while her mother said “Over here please, both of you, and kneel in front of the couch.”

 

Both of the girls were wearing white round necked t-shirts and blue shorts, with a pair of knee length socks and plimsolls.  “Don’t you think this is a little cold for the weather,” Cindy said as she knelt on the floor.  “It looks as if it is minus 10 outside.”

 

“And what makes you think you are going to be going anywhere for a while,” Dorothy said as she picked up two lengths of nylon rope.  “Now then, hands behind your backs, and cross your wrists.  I promise you this will not hurt.”

 

“I’m not worried about this,” Heidi said as she looked over her shoulder, watching as Amy as she wrapped the rope around her arms and pulled her wrists together, “I’m worried about what you might do once we cannot do anything about it.”

 

“Stop complaining,” Dorothy said as she bound Cindy’s wrists together, “or we’ll stop you from answering out perfectly reasonable questions for your own comfort.  Now then, straight up if you please, and face each other.”

 

The two girls managed to get up onto their knees and wriggle round, watching each other as their mothers wrapped more rope around their waists and secured their wrists to the small of their back.  “So what do you fiends have planned for us,” Cindy said in her best girl detective voice.

 

“Yeah - you know you won’t get away with your fiendish plan,” Heidi continued as she watched Amy and Dorothy fold two white headscarves into bands.  “You’ll never silence us with those!”

 

“Who said these were for gags,” Dorothy said as she used her scarf to pull Cindy’s dark hair back from her forehead, making an Alice band as she secured the ends together at the base of her neck.  Amy tied one on her daughter’s forehead, pulling her blonde hair back, before both women picked up coils of rope and started to enclose Heidi and Cindy by securing their arms to their side, the rope running around their stomachs and shoulders.

 

“Well, I guess we’re not going anywhere for a while,” Heidi said as she felt her arms forced against her body.

 

“You think,” Cindy said as she looked at her friend, the t-shirt stretching over her chest as the ropes were tightened further.  “Hey Mum - I’ve been meaning to ask something.”

 

“And what would that be, dear,” Dorothy said as she and Amy helped the two girls to stand up and then sit on the couch.

 

“You and Amy - is this going to be a problem if I ask Karl back one night?  I mean...”

 

“Cindy Elsworth,” Dorothy said in a slightly angry tone, “Do you honestly think I am going to allow you to bring a boy to our house now?”

 

Cindy was surprised at that reaction, and mumbled “I’m sorry, but...”

 

“Good grief, she actually fell for it,” Amy said as she and Dorothy laughed out loud.   “Honestly, what on earth made you think our feelings would make us stop you seeing boys,” Dorothy continued as she knelt at Cindy’s feet and started to bind her sock covered ankles together.  “You’re your own young woman, Cindy - and I’m not going to judge, stand in your way, or otherwise stop you discovering who you are.  Once, maybe - but not now.”

 

“You two really do still have a lot to learn,” Amy continued as she tugged the rope between her daughter’s ankles, knotting the ends behind her legs before binding her legs together below her knees.

 

“So how are you going to do our nails if our toes are covered and our hands are behind our backs,” Cindy said as she wriggled her fingers, and looked at her mother.

 

“That’s for later,” Amy said as she and Dorothy moved the two girls so that they were sitting at an angle, with their heads resting on the back of the couch.  “First, we need to give you two a facial.  Veronica?”

 

“Made to their own recipe,” Veronica said as she brought in a bowl, the faint scent of lemon and avocado coming from it.  “Close your eyes, girls - time for you two to relax...”

 

 

 

 

As they walked back from the store, Natalie and Katherine watched the ploughs as they went down the street again, clearing the last of the snow from the tarmac as a second lorry followed, spreading rock salt behind it.

 

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen the snow so heavy before,” Natalie said as she stepped into a small snow drift.

 

“Unusual,” Katherine said as she walked beside her daughter.  “I’ve seen worse, but it is a lot heavier than usual.”

 

“Hey, Nats - what are you doing over here?”

 

Natalie turned to see Alexa walking behind her, wearing a thick black coat with her laced boots visible underneath.

 

“Hey there,” she said with a smile, “we got stuck at Heidi’s house last night, so we said we’d go and get some supplies before we try to get home tonight.  Where are you heading?”

 

“Home - I spent last night at Joanne’s for the same reason.  I needed the exercise anyway - we were rather restricted last night, if you know what I mean.”

 

“I can guess,” Katherine said with a smile.  “How much further do you have to go?”

 

“Not far - I’ll walk back to Heidi’s with you,” Alexa said with a smile.  “I have a message to pass onto Cindy and Dorothy anyway.”  The trio made their way down the road, talking quietly until they got to Heidi’s house.

 

“Come in and have a coffee or something as well,” Natalie said as Katherine opened the door.   “You can give Dorothy the message then.”  Alexa nodded as they came in, taking off her coat to reveal the jeans and thick jumper underneath.

 

“Hey Alexa,” Veronica said as she came in from the front room.  “I’m just brewing some more coffee - want a mug?”

 

“I’d love one thanks,” the young girl said as she shook her head.  “Where are Cindy and Dorothy?”

 

“Upstairs - would you do me a favour and tell them the drinks are nearly ready?  They’re in Heidi’s room.”

 

“Great - do you mind if I go up?”

 

“So long as you remember this is Heidi we are talking about here.”

 

Alexa nodded as she said “Be Prepared” to herself, climbing up the stairs and finding Heidi’s door.  Knocking on the wood, she went in to find that Heidi and Cindy were indeed in the room with Dorothy - but not in a position to say much.

 

They were lying on Heidi’s bed, and mumbled “Hllxe,” to Alexa as they looked up.  They had their hands tied together in front of them and to their waists, the red polish on their nails obvious to the new arrival.

 

Their feet were now bare and slightly apart, Heidi’s left leg and Cindy’s right tied down to the foot of the bed, while their other ankles were tied to each other.  Dorothy was carefully applying the red polish to the last of Cindy’s toe nails, while Amy was massaging Heidi’s feet.

 

“Oh, sorry,” Alexa said as she took in the sight, “Was I interrupting something?”

 

“Just a little turn round,” Amy said as the two girls nodded.  Their mouths were covered with strips of white tape, and it was obvious to Alexa that something was under the tape from the shape of their lips.

 

“So what can we do for you,” Dorothy said as she put the lid back on the bottle of polish.

 

“Veronica says to tell you the coffee is ready - and Suzanne asked me if I saw you to remind you about the dinner on Wednesday.”

 

“Oh yeah - I promised I would make a pie for it,” Dorothy said as she put her bottle down.  “Just let us finish off here and we’ll be right down.”  Alexa nodded as she watched Amy pass a black hood and a pair of earplugs to Dorothy, and left them to their task.

 

“They’ll be down in a minute,” Alexa said as she came into the front room, and accepted the hot steaming mug from Dorothy.  “It looks as if you lot had fun last night.”

 

“Can’t complain,” Natalie said as she took the mug of hot chocolate, “but I’ll be glad if we get home tonight.”

 

“Which reminds me,” Veronica said “Your husband rang Katherine - I told them you should be home later tonight, but you’d eat here first.”

 

“Thanks,” Katherine said as she sat down.  “I enjoyed last night, but it will be good to get home.  I miss my bed.”

 

“That all you miss,” Veronica said as she raised an eyebrow.

 

“No - but that’s private,” Katherine said with a wink as Amy and Dorothy came back in.  “They’ll be fine up there until we have cooked dinner,” she said with a smile, “but before you lot go, Dorothy and I want you to do the four of us a favour - if you will.”

 

“Of course,” Katherine said, “What sort of favour do you have in mind?”

 

“I’ll give you one guess,” Veronica said as she handed the other two a mug, “and I think it’s similar to what the girls did for the three of us last night.  Close?”

 

“Very close,” Dorothy said, “but not for the night.  Cindy and I still need to get home tonight.  So what did you manage to get?”

 

 

“You know, it’s amazing what you can make with ground pork and the right sort of spices.  That was a brilliant potato and meat pie, Katherine.”

 

“Well, you can’t call it a shepherd’s pie or a cottage pie - perhaps a butcher’s pie?”

 

Katherine smiled as the others pushed their plates back.  She and Natalie had managed to find some mushrooms and potatoes as well as the meat at the market, and in combination with some frozen peas and spices from the cupboard had managed to pull a meal together for all seven of them.

 

“Whatever - I enjoyed it,” Dorothy said as she stood up, and started to gather the plates.  “Now, when do you two need to be heading off?”

 

Katherine glanced at her watch.  “It’s six thirty now, so we have half an hour or so.”

 

“I’ll take care of the dishes,” Veronica said as she stood up, “You and Natalie help these four to get comfy they way they want to be, and I’ll come in to see you out.  Don’t worry - I’ll keep an eye on them until later.”

 

Amy and Heidi had both changed into matching long sleeved jumpers and jeans, while Cindy and Dorothy were wearing jogging suits.  All four had socks pulled up over their legs, and smiled as they walked with Katherine and Natalie into the front room.

 

“Are you sure you want us to do this,” Heidi said to her mother as the two older women made themselves comfortable on the couch.  “After all, it could be a little uncomfortable.”

 

“Let us be the judge of that,” Dorothy said while Natalie picked up two lengths of cord.  “You’re first - hands together in front of you.  And remember - you have control of the remote.”

 

“There is that,” Cindy said as Natalie crossed her wrist in front of her and started to tie them together, while Katherine did the same for Heidi.  “So I guess we might still be in charge after all.”

 

“Count your blessings,” Amy said as Katherine helped Heidi to sit down on the floor, spreading her legs slightly so that they were either side of her daughter’s body.  “Just remember where the heels of my feet are going to be.”

 

“Thanks Mum - I was trying to forget that,” Heidi said with a smile as Katherine crossed and tied her ankles together, and then her legs below her knees.  She glanced over at her daughter, who had secured Cindy’s legs in the same way, and then stood up to go and fetch more rope.

 

“Who’s going to be first,” she asked as she came back.  Amy nodded as she said “Raise your hands, Heidi,” and then crossed her legs around Heidi’s stomach, her daughter shifting back as she rested her feet on a cushion that Natalie had placed in her lap.

 

“Let me know if it gets too uncomfortable,” Amy said quietly as Katherine wrapped the rope around her ankles, binding them tightly together as Heidi lowered her wrists onto her own lap. 

 

“You know,” she said as she tilted her head back and looked up,” It occurs to me that your feet are just where I would want them if I wanted to tickle you, mum.”

 

“Good thing we thought of that then,” Natalie said as she tied a further length of rope between Heidi’s wrists, and then ran it down to her ankles, keeping her fingers well out of reach of her mother’s soles.

 

“Gotcha,” Dorothy said as she crossed her own legs around Cindy, pulling her back as Katherine and Natalie secured them next.   “Well then,” Cindy said as she looked at Heidi, “I guess we’ll have to settle for the choice of television program to torment them with.”

 

“I think that scares me even more,” Amy said as she held her wrists up in front of her, hands palm to palm as Katherine bound them tightly together, and then pulled them over her head, passing the rope down the back of the couch and securing it to the back leg of the seat.

 

“What’s the worst they can pull,” Dorothy said as Natalie did the same for her, the sleeves of her jumper falling down as her arms were pulled up and behind her.

 

“Have you checked the schedules for today?  There could be something excruciating on Hallmark.”

 

“There’s always something excruciating on Hallmark, Mum.”

 

“Fair point, Heidi,” Amy said as she looked at Natalie quickly rolling four bandanas into bands and tying knots in the middle of them.

 

“Right then,” Katherine said as she walked to the door, “Nats will make sure you cannot criticise the choice of the girls, and then we really do need to be off.”

 

“Just don’t pick the Disney channel,” Amy said before she accepted the cotton know in her mouth and bent forward slightly to allow Natalie to tie the bandana around her head.  She gagged Dorothy in the same way, then knelt beside Heidi.

 

“Thanks for the stopover,” she said, “see you at school tomorrow?”

 

“If it’s open,” Heidi said as she too was gagged.

 

“It always opens, unless it floods,” Cindy said before she accepted the final gag, chewing on the cotton wad to try and compress it as Katherine came back in, handing Natalie her coat as she turned the television on.

 

“They look comfy,” Veronica said as she came back in and hugged both of them.  “Safe journey back.”

 

“You too Mum,” Natalie said as she put her coat on, and the two of them waved to the others before Veronica led them to the front door.  As they heard her talking, Amy started to move through the channels before her lips made a smile over her gag.

 

“Prfkt,” she mumbled as the others saw the opening sequence, with the star leading the wise men to the town of Bethlehem.  As they made their way into the stable, and they saw Terry Jones turn and fall over, Dorothy looked at Cindy.

 

“Tmuwshdtmm,” she said, “tsntbd.”  Dorothy nodded as the music started, and the animation took over....

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hot drinks,” Veronica said as the closing strains of Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life faded on the screen.  “Do you want to be completely untied, or just your wrists.”

 

Amy looked up towards to her arms, and then to the others, who all nodded as Veronica placed a tray of steaming mugs on the coffee table, and then started to untie her sister’s arms.

 

“thstbtr,” Amy mumbled as she rubbed her wrists, and then reached round and removed her gag, Dorothy doing the same before she moved her head over and kissed Amy while Veronica released the girl’s wrists.

 

“Hot chocolate for all of us,” Veronica said as Cindy removed the last of their gags, and accepted the mug in her hands.  “the good news is the roads are clear, so school is open tomorrow.”

 

“That’s good news?” Amy said as she accepted the mug, only to groan slightly as Amy pushed her heels down on the cushion.  “all right, all right, I submit,” she said as she looked up.  “It’s good news.”

 

“Better,” Amy said as Veronica sat down.  “Now then, let’s have our drinks and enjoy them.”

 

“I think I get the point of that film now,” Dorothy said, “although I may have a different world view now.  One question, my dear - where did you see it?”

 

Cindy blushed and said “Err...  When I went to the cinema with Karl, it turned out there was a special screening of it.”

 

“I still think I prefer Young Frankenstein,” Amy said.

 

“That’s pronounced Fronken-STEEN,” Heidi replied, making her mother laugh.  “Great film, Mum, but we have to watch it every Halloween?”

 

“Why yes, yes we do,” Amy said with a smile, “and if you’re not careful, I’ll get Cindy to...”

 

“Too late,” Cindy said as she grabbed the remote control, and changed the channel in time for the opening credits of the Mel Brooks film....

 

 

 

 

“Now that was funny,” Veronica said as the old style credits rolled.  Glancing at her watch, she knelt down and untied Dorothy’s and Cindy’s legs, allowing them both to stand up and stretch.

 

“Time we were on our way,” Dorothy said as she looked for her bag.  “Amy, Guys - thanks for a great visit.”

 

“Any time, Dot,” Amy said as she stood up, Cindy mouthing “Dot?” to Heidi as the two hugged and kissed.  “See you during the week?”

 

“I’ll call you,” Dorothy said as she stroked Amyls cheek, then took her coat from Cindy.  “See you tomorrow, Heidi,” Cindy said as the two of them hugged Veronica, and then left the house.

 

“It still looks so peaceful out there,” Heidi said as she looked out of the window, “I wonder what the others got up to this weekend?”

 

“Well, we know about Alexa,” Veronica said, “and I guess Andrea was with her family.  You’ll find out tomorrow.”

 

“Right now,” Amy said as she hugged Heidi, “it’s time we tidied up.  Veronica, are you staying tonight?”

 

“If you don’t mind - I can drop Heidi off at school tomorrow on my way to the office.  Besides,” she said as she saw small flakes falling again from the sky, “I would rather see how things are in the morning.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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