Heidi’s Mystery Week – Part 2
The Tuesday was bright and sunny as the four girls waved their mothers and friends off. Alice was wearing a red swimsuit under a pair of white shorts, while Natalie had on a short denim skirt and a blue bikini top. Cindy and Heidi were in t-shirts and knee length leggings, but all four were barefoot.
“Right,” Kayla said as she looked at them, “I need to go and keep an eye on Chloe. Can I trust you four to keep yourselves occupied until lunchtime?”
They all nodded as Kayla walked back into the cabin.
“All right,” Heidi said as she looked at Alice, “why did you want the four of us to stay back today?”
“Well,” Alice said quietly, “I was wondering if you would tie me and Natalie up?”
“Yeah, but on the same bed – if Nats doesn’t mind?”
“No reason why I should mind,” Natalie said, “let’s go into our cabin.”
“And how exactly do you want to be tied?” Cindy asked as they went in.
“Full job – so that we’re facing each other.”
“All right – you’d better find a pair of socks each then,” Heidi said.
“I’ll get them,” Natalie said as she brought back two pairs of socks, and handed one to Alice. As they pulled them up over their hands, Cindy sorted some ropes out, and then folded Natalie’s arms behind her back, tying her forearms together before she secured her arms to the young girl’s side with rope above and below her chest.
As Heidi did the same to Alice, the young gymnast sighed, feeling the caress of the ropes on her body as it forced her young chest out. She smiled as she looked at Nats, who smiled back as they sat on opposite sides of the bed.
She watched as Cindy crossed and tied her ankles together, trying to steady her heart rate as the rope held her legs firmly together, and also as another band went around her legs below her knees, the rope passed between her legs.
“Okay you two, time for you to stay quiet,” Heidi said, holding a sponge ball in her hand. Nats nodded as she opened her mouth, allowing Heidi to push it in before white tape was pressed firmly down over her mouth.
“ullrrtlsss,” Nats said as she looked over her shoulder, seeing the white tape over her friend’s mouth as she was helped to lie on her side. She flipped herself over and smiled under the tape as her legs were pulled back and tied to her chest ropes.
“Now, are you sure you want us to do this last part,” Cindy said as she looked at both of them. Nats and Alice both nodded as Cindy fed some rope under their bodies, and the two girls used it to hold them together at their waists. Nats let out a little grunt as their bodies were pulled together, but Alice just looked into her friend’s eyes.
“Right then – sleep masks?”
Alice shook her head, Natalie raising an eyebrow but then also declining the offer.
“All right, we’ll be back in a while,” Heidi said as they closed the door, leaving the two of them alone.
“Smlwlrrldsnttn” Alice said as she wriggled round.
Nats felt that movement and said “Whtrudgnggg?”
“Gtnngcmfee – prblm?”
“Nnnn,” Nats said as she looked into Alice’s eyes, the stare been returned. It was as if they were sharing something without talking, and neither girl knew quite what to do next…
“How are they,” Kayla said as she came out with some drinks, while Heidi and Cindy were enjoying the sunshine.
“Enjoying themselves, I think,” Cindy said as she took the glass. “Chloe?”
“She’ll join us for dinner tonight,” Kayla said as they sat down. “Listen, Anne and Sue asked me to talk to you two about something, but I need to ask that you don’t tell anyone else except Nats, all right?”
“Sure,” Heidi said, “is this about the other day?”
“Yeah, it’s about the other day,” Kayla said as she sat down. “You remember what she said after that weekend when you were all taken hostage, about Sarah?”
“Yeah – she and Brian are some sort of super team, right,” Heidi said, and then she looked at Kayla. “Oh my, you mean Chloe…”
“Yeah,” Kayla said, “Chloe has some of the same abilities now as Sarah. When you three surprised her the other day, she didn’t have the chance to warn you, but the funny feelings you started having?”
“I don’t like to think about them too much,” Cindy said, “it was as if I wanted to – well, you know Heidi.”
“Yeah, I know,” Heidi nodded before she said “what you’re saying is Chloe needs to be treated with the same care as Sarah when it comes to escapology classes, right?”
“That’s part of what I’m saying, but you also saw how strong she is now. She’s still learning, so we – that is, Anne, Sue and I – need you to be kind of a conscience to her, let her know when she’s going too far, all right?”
“Sure – and if we start feeling funny?”
“Chloe’s watch works on the same principle as Sarah’s – so long as it stays green, you’re good. If for ANY reason it turns red, and you see it, I’ll give you a can of the aerosol I used on you to spray over her – and then get out of the room, all of you.”
“Can her watch turn black?”
Kayla looked at Heidi and said “I beg your pardon?”
“Sarah’s watch was black that weekend – can Chloe’s do that as well?”
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Kayla said as she stood up, “but I’d hate to be in the room when that happened. Why don’t I fix some lunch – you can free the other two in an hour or so, and then we can play a board game or something.”
“Oh yeah,” Heidi said as she looked at Cindy, “ever played Monopoly by our rules?”
“All looks quiet,” Joanne said as she led the others back to the cabins. “I wonder where they are?”
“Hey there,” Kayla said as she came out, “how was the hike?”
“Tiring,” Anne said as she came into the clearing. “The girls?”
“Enjoying the sun out back. They challenged me to a game of Monopoly?”
“Challenged you? I’ve never beaten you at that or any game. What rules?”
“Their ones – come and look.”
The group went out back, Britney and Margo giggling as they saw all four girls tied to sunbeds by their wrist and ankles, with sunglasses covering their eyes.
“Laugh it up,” Alice said as she turned her head, “I’ll remember for next time.”
“All right you two,” Blossom said, “you can help me with dinner.”
“So how did you spend your day,” Jannifer said as she and Fi sat with them.
“Quietly – not doing a lot except lying around,” Nats said as she turned and looked at Jannifer. “Any chance of untying us? I really need to go somewhere.”
“I suppose so,” Fi said as the four girls were released, Alice and Nats heading to the toilet as the other two stood up.
“Hey Chloe,” Joanne said as she came out of the cabin and joined her, Alexa and Andrea at the table, “all down with the endurance test?”
“I am, yes,” Chloe said as she took a seat, “and I apologise for the fact I was so occupied with it. All I can say is that it was necessary.”
“Yeah, but why,” Alexa said as she handed Chloe a drink, “is there something you need to tell us?”
“It is part of a training exercise for a charity event later this year – nothing more,” Chloe said with a smile.
“Uh huh – nothing more than that,” Andrea said as she looked at her mother talking to Bobbi, Amy and Veronica. “Chloe, you are a terrible liar.”
“Whatever do you mean mon amies?”
“Chloe, you’re looking fitter and stronger than you have in a long time, and I’ve seen the way you lift cases and boxes. You’ve taken up kick boxing or karate haven’t you?”
“Yes, you have found me out,” Chloe said with a laugh. “But there is one other thing – I will tell you tomorrow.”
“Oh secrets – do we need to go find the bottle?”
“No we do not,” Chloe said with a smile, “please, trust me with this.”
“All right – but you’re not off the hook yet Mademoiselle Bandeliane,” Joanna said as she smiled at her friend.
The morning dawned bright and clear as the girls started to clear out their cabins, making sure everything was tidied up and cleared away.
Chloe, Heidi, Cindy and Nats were at the watering hole, watching Fi and the twins as they went for a swim.
“Kayla talked to us yesterday,” Heidi said as they sat at the bank. “How are you feeling now Chloe?”
“Better,” the young woman said, “and I am truly sorry. You took me by surprise, and I had no way of warning you what could happen.”
“So what happened? How did you end up being – well, like Sarah?”
“I do not have any children,” Chloe said with a smile.
“You know what I mean,” Cindy said.
“I know, but I could not resist. No, there was an accident one day, and somehow some of Sarah’s blood was injected into me. As a result, I seem to have the same abilities as her. Not to the same extent – at least, not at first – but I do need to take great care.”
“Well, we’ll help as much as we can,” Natalie said as she buried her toes in the grass.
“Thank you,” Chloe said, “one other person knows, but she is an ocean away.”
Chloe nodded and said “Oui – we should head back, the others will be here soon.”
As they returned to the cabins, the twins ran up to their father, who had just stepped out of the car.
“There you are,” James said as he hugged Chloe, “sorry we’re late.”
“That man is a miracle worker,” Jack Hawkins said as he clapped a hand on James’ shoulder, “one look at the engine and he found the loose wire, never mind the amount of fish he has caught this week.”
“Who’s a miracle worker?”
“Brian! Sarah! I’m so glad you could come,” Amy said as the couple got out of their car. “Can we see them?”
“Of course,” Sarah said as they carried a car seat each out, and brought them over. “Here they are – Bart and Sarah Holderness-Carter.”
“Oh my goodness,” Amy and Dorothy said as they came over, “they look adorable. How are they behaving?”
“So far so good,” Sarah said as she sat down, “no sleepless nights – yet?”
“Sensible attitude – never say never,” Roberta said as she looked at them.
“Still, they look so peaceful,” Dorothy said as Bart opened his eyes and looked out from under his blue cap.
“So what have you guys been up to for the last few days,” Brian said as he shook hands with Jack and Kurt.
“Drinking, walking, fishing and hunting,” Jack said. “those two young men have proven themselves to be – reasonable shots.”
He looked over to where Karl and Dave were talking to Heidi and Cindy.
“Point,” Brian said as the quartet walked off to the cabin. “
“Can we hold them, please, please, please,” Britney and Margo said as they looked at Bart and Sarah.
“Well, sit in those deck chairs and you can hold them for a while,” Sarah said, so Britney and Margo sat in the chairs, but kept shuffling about.
“I’ll fix that,” Jannifer said as she grabbed some rope, and tied their waist to the chair, then their legs to the front legs, before Sarah handed Bart to Britney and Sarah to Margo.
“Awww,” Margo said, “she’s smiling at me.”
“She must like you,” Sarah said as Brian and James went to unload the car.
“Fixing engines and catching loads of fish? Anything you need to tell me James?”
“Only that I have a very, VERY good teacher,” James said, “but honestly? I just could. It’s almost as if some of you has rubbed off on me.”
Brian nodded, and then said “Anything else?”
“Yeah – bur Chloe and I want to tell everyone at the same time, so let’s keep it quiet for now.”
“Good – because Sarah and I have a favour to ask of you two as well.”
“Oh – what’s that?”
“Be godparents to the babies.”
James stopped and looked at Brian. “You’re serious?”
“Oh yes we are – we want at least one set of godparents that understand us and them.”
“Are you saying…”
“Kayla thinks it’s a possibility, so – you two willing?”
“I am – let me talk to Chloe first,” James said.
“Hey,” Jack shouted over as Kurt sat with Blossom and the girls, “get that food over here – we’ve a barbecue to get going!”
The scene was like a typical family gathering – Jack and the men in charge of the cooking, Fi, Britney and Margo playing softball with the other girls, while the mothers and aunts stood and talked over the babies.
“So when’s the christening going to be,” Sue said as she tickled Bart’s chin.
“August over here,” Sarah said. “we’re just going round asking about the godparents now.”
“Who have you picked?”
Sarah looked over at Amy, who nodded and said “I’m one, for my sins – and so is Jack.”
“We’ve also asked Alexander Holderness and Alicia Bowden,” Sarah continued, “we want that connection to the family as well.”
“Nice choices,” Suzanne said, “any others?”
“Two couples – we’ve got good reasons for picking them as well.”
“And who are they?”
“Tell you later,” Sarah said as Brian brought her over a drink. As Dorothy watched the twins, she saw a butterfly flutter past, and little Sarah reaching up her hand for it to sit on.
She watched, fascinated as Bart seemed to turn his head and look at it as well. As the butterfly flew off, she caught Sarah looking at them out of the corner of her eye, smiling and nodding.
“All right,” Brian called out, “who wants to eat first!”
“Where are Cindy and Heidi anyway,” Nats said as she looked at Alice.
“Well, I last saw them heading to the cabin with Dave and Karl,” Jannifer said, but as they looked over they saw all four coming out, smiling and joking. The three friends looked at each other, but said nothing as they came over.
“Come on you lot,” Katherine said as she and Margaret brought out the salads, and Joanne and Alexa carried out two coolers full of beer cans and bottles, “let’s get this party started.”
“FOOD!” Britney shouted as she and Margo ran over, the game ending as Joanna and the others walked back from their chat.
“These are great steaks,” Alice said as she cut into it, “what are they?”
“Deer – we got a license to shoot near out cabin,” Jack answered his daughter as everyone sat round the tables and talked.
“So you were going to tell us who the other godparents were going to be Sarah,” Anne said as she sat back.
“OH yeah – well one of the couples are the Williamsons – you met them when you came over for the wedding.”
“I remember them,” Heidi said, “got a daughter about the same age as the twins and a younger son, right?”
“That’s them – we got to know them after you left, and I think they will be a good influence on the kids.”
Kayla raised an eyebrow as Sarah said this, but said nothing as Joanne said “so who are the other couple?”
“That would be us,” Chloe said as she took James’ hand. “In fact, there is something we would like to say to all of you, and now would appear to be the perfect moment, is that not right James?”
The older woman suddenly turned and looked at Chloe, before Anne said “Chloe, are you saying that you and James…”
“Oui – we are to be husband and wife.”
The scream from Alexa was deafening as she ran up and embraced Chloe, while Jack went over and shook James’ hand.
“I wish you a long and happy life together,” he said as Brian hugged Sarah,
“Did you know?”
“James hinted to me – darling?”
“Same with Chloe,” Sarah said quietly, “but I think they’re perfect for each other…”
“Does this mean bridesmaid time soon?”
“Not just yet, young Margo,” Chloe said, “we have studies to finish, but after that, we shall see.”
“Right, well this calls for a toast,” Kurt said as he filled glasses and handed round cans. “To James and Chloe!”
“JAMES AND CHLOE!!!”
The sun was just coming up over the horizon as the door to the room Heidi, Cindy and Jannifer were sharing slowly opened. The soft footsteps did not wake them, as their covers were gently pulled back and they were rolled onto their stomachs.
One by one their wrists were crossed and tied together with soft ropes, as were their ankles, and then their legs below their knees. Their legs were then slowly bent, soft giggling the only sound as their ankles were tied to their wrists, and then they were slowly rolled onto their sides.
Finally, strips of white tape were smoothed over their lips and their eyes, before the binders tip toed out of the room and closed it behind them.
They made their way through the cabin, stepping outside as Fi appeared from the next cabin.
“We did it,” Britney and Margo giggled as they stood on the porch. “You?”
“Alice and Natalie were no problem,” Fi giggled in reply, “I wonder how long it will take them to wake up now?”
In the third cabin, Andrea and Coral were lying in the same bed, wearing white sleepsuits with their hands covered in fingerless mittens. Bobbi and Joanne had tied them the previous night, hands behind their backs, ropes around their waists and above and below their chests, as well as their ankles and their legs. A scarf filled their mouths, and strips of white tape covered their lips. Black sleep masks covered their eyes.
“They look so peaceful there,” Suzanne said as she looked in with Joanne.
“Yeah – come on, I’ll make some coffee.”
And as for the fourth cabin…
Heidi wasn’t sure what it was that was wrong as she slowly came to. The way she felt was familiar, but as far as she could recall, she had gone to bed in a perfectly normal and reasonable fashion – ad certainly not unable to move her arms and legs.
“Snddeee,” she mumbled, and then realised something was over her mouth.
“Hdeee? Uswlll,” she heard Jannifer mumble, and then head her moving about on the bed – but she could not see anything. Something over her eyes was keeping her eyelids closed – and from the way it was tugging on her skin, she had a fairly good idea as to what it was.
“Whtsslltthrkt,” she then heard Cindy mumble, followed by a grunt of recognition.
“Tsntmmmsnee – wreeteedt.”
Heidi began to rub her face on her pillow, slowly, painfully slowly easing the edge of the tape away from her face as she dreamt of the things she would do to Natalie.
At that moment, however, Natalie and Alice had problems of their own – problems involving whoever it was who was running an electric toothbrush over the soles of their feet, making them give muffled gasps of laughter as they tried to move out of the way.
“Whnnegttffthssshhhhhhhh” Nats was mumbling through the tape covering her mouth, “mgnnnkklllsmsmnnn”
“JnnthcllbbAAAAAAAAAAA” Alice said as the vibrating bristles ran u the bare soles of her feet, as they were held by rope to her wrists.
From the doorway, Veronica and Roberta watched in silence as Katherine and Heather ran the toothbrush over the feet of the two young girls, holding their legs as they did so.
Elena appeared behind them, and said “Breakfast will be ready in a few minutes – any idea where Fi went to?”
“nope – but if she has any sense she will hide for the best part of this morning,” Veronica whispered, “because once these two get free, and they realise who did this to them, and set them up for the tickling, I don’t think much for their chances…”
In her struggles, Nats had finally managed to get the sleep mask that had been covering her eyes off, and she looked over her shoulder, staring at her mother as she said “Whnddudths?”
“Oh we didn’t do this,” Katherine said as she looked at Heather, “we came in to wake you two up for breakfast and found you like this.”
“That’s right,” Heather said, “but it is time to stop now.” She was wearing a peasant blouse over a long skirt, while Katherine wore a sleeveless blouse and shorts. The two of them but the electric toothbrushes down, and released the two girls.
“Well, if you didn’t do this,” Alice said after she had removed the tape from her mouth, “then wh… Where is young Fi?”
“Good question – she was already up and about when we woke. What does that tell you?”
“That is we don’t find her, she’s suspect numero uno,” Natalie said as she rubbed her wrists, “but I want my breakfast first.”
“And why is that,” Veronica said with a smile.
“Because revenge tastes better on a full stomach,” she said as she made her way quickly to the bathroom.
“Have you seen the girls yet,” Blossom said as she came into the kitchen, finding Amy and Dorothy drinking coffee and eating pastries.
“Nope – I haven’t seen any sign of any of them,” Amy said as he looked up, while Blossom poured herself a coffee. “Worried?”
“Not particularly – I guess Jannifer just took the twins for a walk.”
“Nope – not true mum,” Jannifer said as she came in wearing her shorts and vest top, “but someone managed to tie, gag and blindfold all three of us in the night, and we only just managed to get free.”
“Really,” Blossom said as Jannifer poured herself some orange juice, “and who was that someone?”
“Our money’s on Nats and Alice,” Cindy said as she and Heidi came in, “and once we’ve had some breakfast, we will have words with them on the subject.”
“You might get your chance sooner,” Dorothy said as she looked out of the window, “they’re coming over.”
Heidi went to the door of the cabin to see Nats, her bare feet crunching on the ground as she walked in her vest and denim shorts, while Alice was wearing a white crop top and knee length pants.
“Very funny, Heidi,” Nats said as she came over, “tying us up and leaving us for my mum and aunt to tickle us.”
“Us? We were going to accuse you of tying, gagging and blindfolding us!”
The five friends looked at each other, and then said the same thing.
“Where are they?”
“Looking for the three youngsters,” Alexa said as she came out of the cabin.
“Why yes, yes we are,” Jannifer said, “have you seen them?”
“They went down to the swimming hole with Joanna and Suzanne, after having breakfast with us – why, what happened?”
“I’ll tell you later – who else is up and about in there?”
“Andrea and her mother are busy – and I don’t know about there,” Alexa said as Chloe came out of the fourth cabin.
“I must ask you not to disturb the others,” the young French girl said as she walked over, “they are each undertaking their own training at the moment.”
“Margaret is in here talking to Bobbi,” Alexa said. “Why – what do you need?”
“Some help at the watering hole – to keep Suzanne and Joanna out of the way,”
“They seem happy enough in there anyway,” Suzanne said to the daughter as they watched Britney, Margo and Fi swimming.
“Yeah the trip has really brought Fi out of her shell,” Joanna said as she sat with her knees under her chin. “Wouldn’t you agree Mum?”
Joanna looked round to see Chloe pressing a length of white tape over her mother’s mouth, and tying her wrists behind her back.
“Sorry lover,” Alexa said as she pressed a strip over Joanna’s mouth, and then pulled her arms behind her back, “but we need to keep you two out of the way for a little while. Just stand up and walk away with us – and don’t worry, the girls will be in good hands.”
A few minutes later, Fi and the twins got out of the water, walking to the bags which had their towels in.
“Hey – where did Jo and her mother go,” Britney said as she looked round.
“Oh don’t worry – they’re perfectly safe.”
The trio turned slowly round to see Heidi and Natalie standing behind them.
“You three – I wouldn’t be so sure…”
“Oh – hi,” Britney said with the cutest of smiles on her face, “I guess you finally got free.”
“Free? Now would you need to think we needed to get free, oh younger ones,” Heidi said with a smile.
“Idiot,” Margo muttered under her breath as she backed up, and then felt her sister’s arms encircling her. “Gotcha,” Jannifer said with a smile as the other two turned to see Alice and Cindy there as well.
“Now,” Heidi said quietly, “you know we don’t mind surprises, but we have a simple golden rule – and you know what that rule is?”
“Turn about is fair play?”
“Oh yes,” Cindy said as she held some soft rope in her hands, “but you managed to make sure we all enjoyed an interesting start to the day, so I think it is only fair you have an interesting afternoon.”
“We have three towels laid out for you,” Alice said as she pointed to the ground, “and we’d like you to lie down on them.”
“That sounds fun,” Fi said – and then she saw the ropes by the towels, and said “Oh” very quietly.
“Hands behind your backs girls – we may as well get started,” Britney said as she crossed her wrists behind her back, allowing Jannifer to bind her wrists while Alice took care of Margo and Fi had her wrists bound by Natalie. They then meekly lay down and allowed the girls to bind their ankles – but they were bound with a length of rope between their ankles, so that they would walk a little bit.
“Now, close your eyes,” Heidi said as they were rolled over, and they had their mouths and eyes covered with strips of white tape. As they lay there, the three girls wondered what else was planned – this was too loose to be the last word.
The five girls nodded to each other, and then descended on them, their fingers assaulting their bare midriffs and feet as the three girls wriggled round.
”HMSWTTLRDDDNTDDTHSSSSSS” Britney screamed as she tried to roll out of the way, only for Jannifer to hold her in place while Cindy continued to tickle her feet. Margo tried to squirm out of the way, but Heidi merely grabbed her legs and worked on the soles of her feet.
“NNSNSSTPTPPPHHHHHHHH” was all Fi could say as Nats and Alice took turns to hold and tickle her, the five girls changing places and continuing the gentle, continuous, planned assault on their captives for a good hour or so.
Eventually, Heidi stood up and said “Right – on to stage two.” The three captives were made to stand up and start walking, their feet shuffling on the soft grass as they were guided back up the path to the cabins.
As they walked into the clearing, Joanne and Suzanne watched from the recliners they were sat in, their wrists and elbows taped to the arms, their ankles and legs taped and their mouths covered as the three captives were brought over to the front of Heidi’s cabin.
“Whtsgngnnn,” Fi said as she felt her arms been pulled into her sides, the ropes pulling them into her side as it was wound above and below her chest. The girls were wearing bathing suits, but they had dried out by now, and as they were made to lie face down they felt their ankles been tied firmly together, as well as their legs below their knees.
Folded scarves were then pulled over their mouths, as their ankles were pulled back and tied to their chest ropes. They lay there, wriggling round as the older women slowly gathered round them.
“Mom, get them,” Natalie said to Katherine.
“Oh yeah,” Katherine said as she handed the girls the electric toothbrushes, and an orderly queue was formed – much to the surprised squeals of the three younger girls…
“Don’t worry,” Alexa said to Joanne, “you’ll get your turn as well, as a way of saying thank you for your cooperation.”
“Whrugnngg,” she said as she watched Alexa and Chloe walk off.
“We need to check on the others – Blossom will free you in due course,” they said as they walked back into the cabin.
They looked at each other and watched as one by one the toothebrushes were ran over the bare soles of the three girls, making them laugh and cry in equal measure as first the girls, then the teenagers, and finally the mothers took their turns.
As Elena slowly ran the toothbrush down their legs, Blossom and Margaret came over and freed Joanne and Suzanne from their seats.
“I imagine you will wish to thank them for your rest as well,” Blossom said with a smile.
“Oh you can be certain of that,” Joanne said as she stood up and rubbed her wrists, “you can be certain of that…”
It was early evening by the time all three were finally released, and went to relieve themselves before dinner. As they sat round the tables, Fi said “Is that the punishment over with?”
“Oh no – all three of you will spend the night bound, gagged and blindfolded as well,” Nats said.
“On the other hand,” Anne said, “you are excused the use of restraints tomorrow for Capture the Flag - because you’ll have a different job to do.”
“Oh – and what’s that,” Britney said with a smile.
“You’re the flags – the job will be to capture you and take you back to the enemy’s camp,” Sue said. “There will be two teams – and we will draw lots later to say who is on which team. One tram guards the twins, the other Fi.”
“Anne, Sue and I will be the judges,” Chloe said, “but apart from us, all of you will be involved.”
“Heidi and Cindy are team captains – but they cannot pick their own relations. So, who is going to be on which team girls?”
The sun was rising high over the group of cabins as the two teams came out of the cabins. Breakfast was over, as Sue, Anne and Chloe stood by one of the picnic tables.
“Team Heidi, you will wear these orange scarves.”
One by one they came forward – Heidi leading the way, with Natalie and Heather, Dorothy and Veronica, Joanne and Kayla, Coral, Bobbi and Margaret, the twins waiting as they all came back.
“Team Cindy, the blue scarves.”
They came forward and took the scarves – Cindy, Fi, Jannifer, Blossom, Katherine, Amy, Suzanne, Alice, Andrea, Alexa, Roberta and Elena.
“Right,” Sue said, “you have fifteen minutes to establish your base camp in the woods. The battle starts at eleven precisely – and finishes at five. If by that time neither team has captured the flag of the other, then the team with the most captives will be declared the winner. Anne and Chloe will accompany each time and signal when the time begins. Remember you may use any materials to subdue captives, but if they get free they have the right to take whatever action they desire.”
“Do you have your equipment?”
Heidi and Cindy nodded as they picked up one of three bags each, two from each team picking up another bag.
“Very well – good luck everyone, and on you go.”
The two teams nodded and set off in opposite direction, Chloe going with Heidi and Anne Cindy.
“This will be our base,” Heidi said as they approached an old cabin she had found in the woods. Opening it, the team made their way in and then looked round. It was a single room building, with a window in two of the walls and the door in the third.
“Nice choice,” Heather and Veronica said as they looked out of the windows.
“You two can take a seat over there,” Natalie said as she indicated the bare wall. As Margo and Britney sat down, Coral took some food and drink from one of the bags and set it next to them.
“Right,” Heidi said, “gather round. The first thing we need to do is find out where their camp is. I guess you cannot help with that Chloe?”
“I am not allowed to assist in any way unless there is a dispute, mon ami,” Chloe said with a smile.
“Right – Nats, you, Kayla and Bobbi set off on a scouting mission. If you find them, note the location on the map and then get back here.” She handed them a map of the local woods, the location of the cabins and the base clearly marked.
“Coral, you, Margaret and Joanne stay with the twins. We’ll take turns watching them. Veronica and I, and Bobbi and Dorothy, we patrol round the base for the next hour, and then report back. If we find any intruders, secure and bring them here.”
“We need a code signal?”
“Agreed – whistle three times as you approach, and only come if you get three whistles in return. Whatever happens, I want us all back here by one. Everyone clear?”
She looked around the room as Britney and Margo sat and started to drink from a juice box each.
“Excellent,” Chloe said as she looked at her watch, “the time starts – NOW!”
“The time starts – NOW!”
Anne watched as Alexa and Andrea left the grove Cindy had chosen as a base of operations, followed by Katherine and Elena. Cindy had charged them with patrolling the area, and then handed the map to Blossom, Alice, Jannifer and Suzanne.
“Good luck finding them,” she said as the four set off. Turning to Fi, she smiled as Roberta started playing with her.
“That leaves us watching the grove for now,” she said to Amy, “we’ll build our defences as the day goes on. But our first priority has to be finding where they are.”
“So,” Natalie said as she and the other two made their way down the path, “where do you reckon Cindy would pick as a base of operations?”
Kayla and Bobbi stopped and looked with the young girl at the map.
“Well, if it was me,” Bobbi said as she rubbed her short blonde hair, “and we are here, with the cabins there, and they went in the opposite direction, I’d go about the same distance in the direction they went. I reckon it was about half a mile – which would suggest somewhere in this area.”
She pointed on the map to an area near the swimming hole.
“They wouldn’t pick that – too public,” Natalie said as she rubbed her chin, “but we found a little grove near there, which only has one way in and out. I’d pick there.”
“Only one way to find out,” Kayla said, “work our way along the path through the trees until we can look.”
“Let’s do that then,” Natalie said as they walked slowly along the path.
As the quartet skirted round the cabins, Sue looked up to see Anne and Chloe returning.
“I presume they’ve both set up base camp and sent out scouting parties?”
Anne nodded as she said “you’ve probably just seen one heading that way.”
“So who do you reckon at this early stage?”
“Difficult to say, I suspect Heidi has the better base to defend, but Cindy has the more tactically aware people.”
“Well, what about what we discussed last night?”
“Oh I agree,” Chloe said, “it’s really a case of time.”
“Any sign of anything so far,” Veronica said as she walked through the woods with Heidi.
“Not yet, but I suspect…” Heidi stopped and put her finger to her lips, then indicated her aunt should crouch with her behind some branches.
“What is it,” Veronica whispered, and then she heard a twig break under her foot.
As they watched, they saw Blossom, Alice, Joanne and Suzanne walk past, their scarves round their necks as they walked in their shorts and tops, the shoes crunching the ground under them.
“What do you reckon – could that cabin be their base,” Alice said as the looked through the trees at the cabin.
“I’ll sneak up and have a look,” Joanne said as she quickly ran over the clearing, peeped in the window and then ran back.
“Yeah – the twins are in there with Coral, Margaret and Joanne.”
“All right,” Blossom said as she marked the position on the map, “back to base to report, and then we plan.”
As they turned to retreat, Alice looked down at her lace.
“Damn – you three go ahead, I need to take care of this,” she said, kneeling and working on her shoes as the others walked off. Heidi signalled to Veronica as the two of them made their way around and behind the young girl.
“That’s better,” she said as she finally stood up, and then was pulled backwards as Veronica hand gagged her.
“Hey there,” Heidi whispered, “consider yourself captured. Now open wide.” Alice was powerless to stop Heidi removing her scarf and then cleave gagging her with it, while Veronica secured her wrists behind her back.
They walked to the cabin, Heidi whistling three times before the call was returned, and they walked in.
“Wow – you got one already,” the twins said as they sat Alice down, and started to secure her properly.
“Yup – first blood to us.”
“Looks like you were right,” Bobbi said as she, Natalie and Kayla looked at Roberta and Fi in the clearing, sitting and talking.
“Yup – you two head back and inform Heidi,” Natalie whispered, “I’m going to stick around for a while, see if I can learn anything else.”
“You sure,” Kayla said as she looked at the young girl.
“Go on – tell her I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Natalie said, watching as the two women walked off into the woods, and then looking round.
“If I get myself up into those trees,” she said to herself as she looked up, “I may be able to see more.”
She stood up, looking round for a hand or foot hold so that she could start to climb it, and then nodded as she reached up for a branch.
So when the pad of tape was pressed firmly over her mouth, she was taken completely by surprise, and dropped her arms, only to have them pulled behind her and secured with a plastic tie.
“Hello dear,” she heard her mother say from behind her, while Elena let herself down from the tree, “why don’t you join us?”
Cindy looked over as the two older women pushed Natalie in front of them, grinning as she said “Well, I guess they know where we are now, don’t they?”
“’Fraid so,” Elena said as they made Natalie sit in front of a tree, and used a length of rope to tie her to it, before they secured her ankles, “time to start planning phase 2.”
Heidi looked up as Kayla and Bobbi came in. “You found them?”
“Yup,” Bobbi said as she put the map down, “right there.”
“We got someone already,” Kayla said as she looked at Alice.
“Yup – where’s Nats?”
“She said she was going to do some scouting and come along later.”
“Which means they probably have her as well,” she said as she looked at Alice. The captive was lying on the floor, ropes holding her in a hogtie and a second scarf tied tightly over her mouth. “Good – everything’s going according to plan.”
Natalie took a good look round the clearing as the others compared notes. Fi was sitting with her back against another tree, smiling as she enjoyed the summer sunshine.
“The cabin? Well, she picked a good place to defend,” Cindy said, “What we need now is to take down their defences. If I know Heidi – and I do – she’ll have a couple of teams circling the cabin. Volunteers for raiding parties?”
“We’ll keep an eye on the path here,” Bobbi said with a nod to Kayla.
“Time the two of us got out as well,” Coral and Joanne said, “so we’ll circle round the camp.”
“Good – the rest of us will start to make preparations for the assault using the balloons and other items we bought. If you find someone, get them back here sharpish, and another pair can head out.”
“First, however,” Heather said as she opened the picnic baskets, “lunch. Can’t wage a war on an empty stomach.”
“And then take one of these each,” Heidi said as she opened a bag of Nerf guns, “use them wisely.”
“Andrea and Alexa, you form one team. Katherine and Elena another, and Jannifer and Blossom the third. Spread out along the perimeter of the path to the glade, and the edges, and take down anyone who gets too close. The rest of us, stay alert to what’s going on around us – especially our guest.”
“Hmmm,” Natalie said as she flexed her toes.
“Yeah, you,” Fi said as she started to tickle the soles of Natalie’s feet, making her squeal and squirm.
“Lunch first,” Amy said as she opened the baskets. As she twisted round, Natalie saw the open bag of Nerf guns, and nodded to herself.
“Very tasty,” Anne said as she wiped her chin. “So, you two ready to do what we discussed?”
“More than ready,” Sue said as she looked at Chloe, “let’s go.”
“It’s quiet,” Bobbi said as she walked along the path with Kayla.
“Yeah – too quiet. I wonder when they’re going to do something…”
“Hush,” Bobbi said as she raised her hand, and they crouched down, cradling their guns as they watched Jannifer and Blossom make their way slowly down the road, looking both ways.
“How silly of them, walking round in the open,” Kayla whispered as she looked over. “Lock and Load.”
Bobbi nodded as she looked at the gun, a foam projectile already in the barrel. As the mother and daughter walked past, they slipped out behind them, Bobbi going first, and aimed carefully, before the sound of a broken twig made both Blossom and Jannifer swing round, firing at Bobbi.
“DAMN!” she shouted out as the foam cylinders hit her, and she dropped her rifle. “Why did you do that Kayla?”
“You’re on your own,” Jannifer said as she walked forward, “what on earth made you think Kayla came after you?”
Bobbi looked round, but there was nobody behind her. “Kayla?”
“Enough,” Blossom said as she took the weapon from Bobbi, and Jannifer pulled her hands behind her back, wrapping cord round them, “let’s get her back to camp.”
“Are you sure it was wise to come here,” Elena whispered to Katherine as they looked onto the back of the cabin from the woods.
“We need more information,” Katherine said as she looked through the trees, “can you sneak up and look in the window again, see what they are planning?”
Elena nodded as she ran across the clearing, standing with her back against the wall as she peered round to see Heather standing at the corner of the small wooden building, looking across the clearing with her back to her.
She was tempted to try and take her down there and then, but simply walked slowly behind her, peeking into the window to see the group filling water balloons and flour bombs.
“Nice,” she said to herself before she crept back around the cabin, and made her way quickly back into the woods.
“They’ve got heavy artillery, Katherine,” she said as she returned to where they had been standing.
There was no sign of her teammate, save the Nerf gun that was lying on the grass.
“What the heck,” she said to herself as she picked up the gun, and then screamed as the cold water from the bomb exploded over her back.
“Gotcha,” Heather said as Elena turned round, “consider yourself captured, and in need of a towel.”
Katherine grunted as she was pushed forward, feeling the ground under her change from dirt to wood. Her arms and upper body were entwined in ropes that had been draped round her neck, and then wound tightly down her arms to force them behind her, bound to each other and then to her chest. A cloth had been pushed into her mouth, a second one tied between her lips, and a third one over her eyes.
As she was made to sit down, she felt her legs being drawn together around her knees, and then her ankles, before the footsteps receded into the distance and she heard a door closing.
Katherine was startled to realise she was not alone, and called out “mmm”
“Shh,” Joanne said to Coral as they approached the clearing. “If we manage to snatch either Fi or Nats, it would be game over for them.”
“Yeah, too right,” Coral said as she looked through the trees, seeing where Nats was sitting with her back to a large tree, and her arms wrapped round the trunk.
“So what do you reckon is the right thing to do?”
“Well, if we were you, we’d drop the guns and surrender.”
The two turned to see Alexa and Andrea standing behind them, pointing Nerf guns at them. Joanne looked at Coral, who smiled and said “Butch and Sundance?”
“Butch and Sundance,” Coral said as they shouted and raised their own weapons.
“What the heck is going on over there,” Cindy said as she heard the shouting from the side of the clearing.
“No idea,” Blossom said as they brought Bobbi into the camp, “take her and we’ll have a look.”
“Hi Nats,” Bobbi said as she was brought over to the tree, and then sat down before her ankles were secured, “relaxing?”
Natalie shrugged her shoulders as Bobbi was cleave gagged, Amy and Roberta standing guard as Blossom and Jannifer ran in the direction of the noise. As they made their way through the wood, they saw the four women lying on the floor, their weapons by their sides.
“OH my lord,” Jannifer whispered, “they got each other mom.”
“It looks that way,” Blossom said as they heard a crack behind them. They turned, weapons raised to see Anne coming down the path.
“Oh boy, they took care of each other I see. All right – report back to Cindy your losses, I’ll send word to Heidi.
“And as for you four, come with me – you get to spend the rest of the day back at the cabins.”
“Well, it was fun while it lasted,” Coral said as she and the three younger girls stood up. “So when you say back at the cabins…”
“Relax – you’re honoured soldiers, so you get to sit back and crack a can if you want. Come on – I’ll give you safe conduct.”
As she took the quartet down the path, she glanced to one side and said “Tell Heidi, will you?”
“How on earth did she see us,” Veronica whispered to Margaret.
“Never mind – come on.”
“I see Elena has joined us,” Margaret said to Dorothy as they came in the cabin.
“Hllthr,” Elena said as she sat next to Alice, the two of them bound hand and foot and tape gagged.
“Yeah – what did you find out?”
“Not good – Coral and Joanne are down, but so are Alexa and Andrea. They took each other out.”
“What about Bobbi and Kayla?”
“No sign – what do we do now?”
“I need a volunteer to stay with the twins and our guests – time’s running out, and we need to end this.”
“Okay – so we lost some people,” Cindy said as she looked round the group, “but we have two captives, and we still have the flag. Who’s going to guard them?”
“We will,” Jannifer said as she looked at her mother.
“All right – load up, we’re going to storm the base and get the flag.”
“Here,” Sue said as she passed the drinks around, “you get to watch the action from here.”
“What do you mean?”
Sue smiled at Coral as she picked up the communicator. “Chloe, report please?”
“Red scarves making their way towards the cabin, armed and ready with water balloons, mon Cherie.”
“Looks like blue scarves are having the same idea – heading for you now.”
“Well then, we have chairs arranged outside, shall we?”
The sun was starting to slowly descend on the tree line as the two groups came on opposite sides of the cabins, looking at each other with clear intent.
“I hope you are ready to surrender,” Heidi said as she looked at the other group.
“Funny, I was about to ask you the same question,” Cindy said as she looked over.
“Then it comes down to this?”
“It comes down to this.”
From the porch of the cabin, Coral and Sue watched with a can in their hands, the girls standing behind them as they watched both sides slowly lower bags to the ground, and look at each other.
“And in three, two, one…”
The battle was glorious, as Nerf bullets and water bombs flew through the air…
“Sounds like battle has been joined,” Blossom said as she sat with her daughter, looking towards the path.
“Yeah – and from the sound of it, it is a…”
Both Jannifer and her mother screamed as a water bomb hit them both on the back. Turning round, they saw Natalie standing up, the ropes that had held her on the ground with signs they had been cut, and one of their own Nerf guns in their hands.
“Took a while to use the blade I had to cut through,” she said with a smile, “but this seemed the right moment. Please, free Bobbi for me Blossom, while dear Jannifer secures young Fi here?”
“You… You let yourself be captured?”
“That was the plan,” Natalie said with a smile, “now, shall we?”
“I wonder how they’re doing,” Roberta said as she played with the twins, the other two wriggling round and trying to get free.
“Who knows – but I hope they’re having fun,” Britney said when there was a noise outside. Roberta put her finger to her lips and picked up a Nerf gun, hiding by the door as it slowly opened and Chloe came in.
“Oh – a marshal,” Roberta said as she lowered the gun, “what news?”
“It is time to return, mes amis,” Chloe said quietly, “there has apparently been a great battle, but there is also a victor.”
The scene in front of the cabins was one of carnage, with foam rods all over the ground, and the remnants of water bombs scattered around. The two groups were sat round the fire in the centre of the ring of cabins, where Sue had started a bonfire, having changed into dry clothing.
“So it was a draw,” Cindy said as she looked at Heidi.
“Not quite,” Heidi said as she looked to the path, where Natalie and Bobbi were escorting their three prisoners to the group.
“Dammit – she had something to free herself, didn’t she?”
Heidi just smiled as Chloe led the others from the other side, and Natalie freed their prisoners.
“We missed a real fight, didn’t we,” Roberta said as she looked round, “who’s going to clear up?”
“Hey – where are Mom and Kayla,” Natalie said as she looked round.
“Oh yeah – we need to get them free, don’t we,” Anne said as she went to their cabin, returning with both Katherine and Kayla.
“And what were you two doing all afternoon,” Heather asked as they sat by the fire.
“Ask those two – we were snatched early,” Kayla said as she looked at Sue and Chloe.
“Oh we’re saying nothing,” Sue said as Anne put her arms round Kayla and whispered “I’ll make up for it later.”
“All right then,” Sue said, “we have meat, marshmallows, and a nice bonfire going – let’s have one last meal together before we have to thank about packing up and clearing up.”
“It’s been a fun week, hasn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Heidi said as she watched the marshmallow slowly brown on her stick, “but we’re back to school soon.”
“Mom told me that Sarah and Brian have asked Alicia to be one of the godparents, so she’s coming over in a couple of weeks.”
“We need to get together while she’s over – compare notes,” Heidi said, Cindy nodding as they looked at Alice and Natalie, whispering together a little further round the ring.
“We should give Dave and Kurt a call when we get back – fix up a night out.”
“Yeah, I’d like that,” Cindy said quietly.
“Arranging a secret tryst,” Jannifer said as she sat with them.
“Listen – have you girls thought about the idea we talked about?”
“We haven’t raised it with our moms yet – what about yours?”
“She’s cool with it, provided we find a place to stay. You’d better ask them now.”
“Ask us what?”
The girls turned to see Amy and Dorothy standing behind them.
“Jannifer is thinking of fixing a trip to go to the Spookfest in Boston in October – and she wondered if we could go as well.”
“The five of us,” Cindy said as she looked at Alice and Natalie.
“Calm down – let us talk to Margaret and Katherine, but I see no reason why not. Come on – off to bed. We need to be on our way home by lunchtime tomorrow, and we still need to pack.”