Jay and the Quiet Day
“Yvonne, I’m home,” Mark Williamson called out as he closed the door, “where are the kids?”
“Charlie is round at the Cottrell Farm, and Lisa is across the road,” Yvonne said as she came out of the kitchen, looking at her husband in his business suit. “Food will be ready in a few minutes.”
“Sounds good,” Mark said as he came over and kissed his wife, in her black jacket and dress. “Listen – the kids are away Saturday, aren’t they?”
“Yeah – your mum is looking after them,” Yvonne said as she looked at him, “Why?”
“An opportunity has arisen – let me talk you through it…”
As Rebecca Corrigan looked out of her window onto the rolling fields of the Cotswolds, she allowed herself a smile. It was going to be another good day, and she was looking forward to what the day would bring. The thirteen year old was wearing a long sleeved brown top with a white gillet, blue jeans and brown sneakers, her long blonde hair falling over her shoulders.
As she felt the hand on her shoulder, she turned and smiled at her mother. Rowena was in her mid-forties, with short brown hair, and was also wearing a long sleeved brown top with a white gillet, but in her case a brown and grey scarf was tied round her neck loosely as well. Her dark leggings were tucked into knee length tan leather boots.
As Rowena looked at her daughter and smiled, she said “Bobby is downstairs, having breakfast, and your father has gone to play a game of golf, but will be back at Lunchtime. Come and eat.” Rebecca nodded as she followed her mother out of the room and down the stairs, smiling as she saw her younger brother sitting at the table. He had short light brown hair, the orange padded jerkin over his own long sleeve brown top with a white t-shirt under that, jeans and brown shoes.
“Got any plans for today, Becca,” he said as he took a drink from a glass of orange juice, the girl shaking her head as she sat down and poured some cereal into a bowl. As she added some milk, Rowena went to the side and made herself a cup of coffee.
“Well, both of you can finish your homework and then ohmygodwhoareyou?”
The two children looked over as the rear door of the house opened, and five people came in, four men and one woman. All of them were wearing blue overalls, black leather gloves and heavy shoes – but they also had balaclavas over their heads, so that only their eyes and lips could be seen. Two of the men were carrying large bags, as one of them said in a Geordie accent “Good morning, Corrigan family. Apologies for the unexpected intrusion, but so long as you all sit and behave yourselves, then nobody will get hurt.”
“Who are you,” Bobby said as he put his spoon down, and started to stand up, but before he could the woman said in a Scottish accent “Sit doon laddie – ah promise ye, nobody wants tae hurt you or ye family, so just do as we say.”
Rebecca looked at them, and then her fingers danced in the air as she looked at them, then at her mother.
“I don’t know Rebecca – who are you?”
“My name,” the man said quietly “is Jay Edwards, and this is my good friend Mrs McPhee. Now, Bobby and Rebecca, we want your father and his business partners to do something for us, so we’re going to be staying today to make sure they do it. The down side of that is, we need to make sure you cannot tell them we are here, but first – finish your breakfast.”
Rowena’s eyes widened as she said “no – not you, not today…”
“I regret to say it is, so best you sit down, have your coffee, and then we can begin….”
“Do you know who they are Mum,” Bobby asked quietly.
“I do – they are robbers, Bobby, and we are going to be held hostage by them. All of us. I need you – and you Rebecca,” she said as she looked at her daughter, “to be very brave, and do what they say, all right?”
“Ah heard you say ye hae homework tae finish,” Mrs McPhee said, “when ye hae eaten, we can go and make sure ye both dae that, nice and quietly. So eat up – we’ve a lot tae do today…”
“What do you mean, nice and quietly,” Bobby whispered as Rebecca looked at her mother.
“You will see,” Jay said quietly, “so please, finish your breakfast…”
“You’re going to tie us up and gag us,” Rowena said quietly as her children started to eat again, “but Rebecca – she cannot hear or talk, how do I explain what is going to happen?”
“Just as you always do,” Jay said quietly, “but you also tell her if she needs the toilet to shake her head three times from side to side.”
“And when I cannot speak?”
Mrs McPhee smiled as her gloved fingers signed “then I will tell her…”
“Make sure the telephone is disconnected – but not the internet, not until they have finished their homework,” Jay said to one of the other masked men, “and then draw the curtains in the main room…”
As they walked through, Rebecca looked at Bobby, both of them with their hands on their heads, as Jay followed with their mother. Rowena had her wrists secured together behind her back with white rope, and bands of rope were around her arms and chest, securing them to her sides.
“You can see that your books and laptops are on the table,” Jay said quietly to the two children, “go and sit in the chair, but keep your hands on your head until we tell you to.”
“They are going to tie you both to the chair,” Rowena said as she stood so both of her children could see her, “and put some tape over your mouths, so remember, Rebecca, if you need to go to the toilet, shake your head three times.”
Rebecca nodded as Mrs McPhee said “dinnae worry lass, I’ll be watching” in front of her, before she knelt down and used lengths of white rope to secure her ankles to the front legs of the chair, one of the other masked men doing the same to Bobby. Their waists were then secured to the back of the chairs, before Jay tore a strip of white tape from a roll, and pressed it firmly over Bobby’s mouth.
“Are you all right,” Rowena asked quietly, Bobby looking at her before he said “hhmmfhnnmmhhmmm.” The tape was then pressed over Rebecca’s mouth, who looked up and nodded before their chairs were moved and they began to work, Mrs McPhee and one of the men watching them.
“Take a seat,” Jay said to Rowena, walking her to an armchair and allowing her to sit before he crossed and bound her ankles tightly together, then secured her legs below her knees.
“Do you really think you can get away with this,” she said as Jay tore a strip of tape from the roll.
“Yes, we do – after all, we also know you will not be our only charges today, and we also know Rebecca is not the only person we have to watch carefully. Now, put your lips together…”
As the tape went over her mouth, Rowena looked worried – how did they know about what happened here on a Saturday?
“Now, keep an eye out,” Jay said quietly as he looked at his watch, “we have about an hour…”
“Looking forward to spending some time with Bobby and Rebecca,” Carol Kane said as she looked in the rear view mirror at her daughters.
“Yeah Mum,” Sian said as she looked at her through her glasses. The eleven year old had on a black cardigan over a white blouse and leggings, the lower part of the leggings tucked into mid-calf brown leather boots and her long light brown hair hanging loose. She turned to her eight year old sister Rose and motioned with her fingers.
Rose had her mother’s dark hair, and was wearing a grey sleeveless furry jacket over a long sleeved white jumper, as well as black leggings and short tan leather boots. She smiled as he looked at her older sister, the eternity scarf round her neck, and then out onto the road as they approached the Corrigan farmhouse.
When Carol brought the jeep to a stop, she got out from the vehicle, the soles of her knee length brown riding boots crunching on the gravel. She was also wearing a white top, in her case with a grey hooded top, and dark jeans tucked into the boots, but as she looked round and let the girls get out everything seemed normal.
“Come on – we can get a drink inside,” she said as she took Rose’s hand, and thy walked into the farmhouse. “Rowena, it’s just us,” she called out, “where are…”
“Oh my god,” Sian whispered as they walked into the main room, Rose gripping her mother’s hand, “Bobby?”
“Hehhhshhhnn,” Bobby said from where he was sitting next to Rebecca on the couch. The two Corrigan children were sat side by side, their legs over the edge of the seat and the bands of rope visible around their ankles and knees, as well as the fact their bound wrists were tied down to their legs as well.
“Wuhhl hullo ther” a female voice said from behind them, “ah see their friends are here.”
“Indeed they are, please, come in,” a male voice said as Carol slowly turned her head to see a man standing behind the chair Rowena was sitting in, smiling through the hole in the balaclava mask. Rowena mumbled “hmsrhreee” through the tape that covered her mouth as she wriggled round, her boots squeaking as she did so.
“Rowena, what’s going on? Who are they?”
“Allow me to make the introductions,” the masked man said in his soft accent, “my name is Jay Edwards, this is my friend Mrs McPhee, and we are currently visiting the Corrigans, so that we may ask the head of the house to do something for us.
“And now, you get to join them as well.”
“Join them? You mean you’re going to do to us what you did to them,” Sian said as she looked at the masked woman.
“Aye – but it disnae hurt, does it?”
Rose looked at Bobby and Rebecca as they both shook their heads, before she turned and started to use her fingers to talk to her mother.
“Can Rose no speak or hear either?”
“No,” Carol said as she looked at Mrs McPhee, “and she’s scared.” She then watched as the masked woman knelt in front of her daughter, and started to sign to her as well.
“You know sign language?”
“Aye – it’s hoo we assured young Becky there she would be fine,” Mrs McPhee said before she took from her pocket a length of white cord, and gave it to Rose to hold.
“Uchcchnshttnhctthmh” Bobby said as he watched Mrs McPhee take another length of cord from her pocket, and then cross Sian’s wrists in front of her before she bound them tightly together. Carol looked on as she whispered “we need to be brave…”
“We are Mum,” Sian said as she looked at Rose, who nodded before she handed the rope back to Mrs McPhee, and crossed her wrists in front of herself. The masked woman signed “thank you” and then wrapped the cord round the younger girl’s wrists, taking it around and between them as they were secured.
“Becca,” Sian said as she looked over to the couch, “will you look after Rose as well, keep her safe.” She watched as the bound and gagged older girl nodded, before Jay said to Carol “Please, put your hands behind your back.”
Jay nodded to another masked man, who walked over and peeled the tape away from Rowena’s mouth. She nodded, and then said quietly “Carol, I’m so sorry you and the girls have got mixed up in this. I’ve heard of them – I’m afraid we’re going to be hostages for some time.”
“Well, with Bill out of the country, we’ll just have to put up with it,” Carol said as she felt the rope tighten round her won wrists, and then watched as Mrs McPhee walked her daughters to the couch, Sian sitting next to Bobby and Rose to Rebecca. “Where’s Tony?”
“Still at the golf club – I’m expecting him back at about two,” Rowena said as she watched Mrs McPhee take more rope and bind Sian’s ankles together while Bobby looked at her. “Rose should be all right – that woman, Mrs McPhee, there’s something about her that keeps the kids calm.”
Carol watched as she saw Rose smile while Mrs McPhee tied her ankles together, and then her legs below her knees, before she tied her wrists down to her legs. Bobby and Sian were looking at each other as Carol tried to move, but with her wrists already secured it was proving difficult.
“Noo then,” Mrs McPhee said as she stood up, “afore ye came in ah was gonna start ah film fer these twa, so ye can all watch quietly noo.” Jay was now kneeling in front of Carol as she sat in a second armchair, watching him cross and bind her ankles tightly together with rope, and then secure her legs together below her knees.
“But Rose can’t hear…”
“Ah know – so we put subtitles on,” Mrs McPhee said as she took from a bag a roll of white tape, and tore a strip off. “But furst, we keep ye both quiet. Lips together, and stay relaxed…”
Carol watched, astounded as first Sian, and then Rose allowed the masked woman to gag them with the tape, Sian resting her head on Bobby’s arm before she started the film on the big television scream.
“I see your son and your daughter like each other,” Jay said as he looked at the two women.
“Yeah, we noticed that as well,” Rowena said with a smile as she twisted round. “Look, they’re going to be hungry soon…”
“I know – and when the time comes, we’ll take you to the kitchen to prepare something,” Jay said with a smile, “but for now, just relax…”
Rowena and Carol looked to the door as they heard the thumping, and then saw the four children jump into the dining room, their hands and legs still bound as Mrs McPhee helped them in turn to sit in a chair. Each of them then held their hands up as they were tied to the chair with ropes round their waists, and their chairs pushed in, before they had their hands untied.
Carol was already sitting in a chair, her legs bound to the front legs of the chair and rope round her waist, as she said “all right, you may now take the tape from your mouths and hand it to Mrs McPhee.”
Bobby nodded as he reached up and peeled the tape away, then said “are you all right Sian?”
“Yeah,” the young girl said as she rubbed her mouth, “A strange morning. What about you two?”
Rebecca and Rose both gave a thumbs up as Rowena put plates of food on the table, and then sat herself down, watching as the masked men tied her ankles to the front legs of the chair, and then her waist to the chair back, before she said “well, let’s eat.”
“What are we going to do this afternoon, Mrs McPhee,” Bobby said as he looked over. Before she could answer, however, they all heard the door open, Jay putting a gloved finger to his lips and smiling as they heard a man say “Where is everyone?”
“In the dining room Tony,” Rowena said, and then her face paled as her husband said “I hope you don’t mind, but I brought guests for lunch…”
Jay stood by the doorway as Tony Corrigan came in, in a Pringle jumper, shirt and slacks, and then stared at the sight before him as he said “what the…” He looked at Jay, who motioned for him to come inside before a family of four followed him in, the mother gasping as they did so. She was wearing a grey cardigan over a white top, a belt knotted round her waist, and dark pants with the legs tucked into long grey leather boots with straps on the sides.
“Shit,” was all her husband said as he looked at the assembled group tied to the chairs. He was wearing a grey Harrington jacket over a red top, the grey vest visible underneath, and jeans with trainers. He placed his hands on the shoulders of his six year old twin daughters, both of them wearing a light blue fleece, jeans, white socks and blue shoes.
“Mummy, what’s happening,” one of them said as she looked up.
“I… What is happening, Rowena,” she said as she looked to the table, Rowena shaking her head as she said “I’m so sorry Wilma, but you’ve walked into a home invasion, a robbery, a hostage situation – all of the above.”
Her husband swallowed as she looked at the masked man, and said “are you Jay Edwards?”
“My reputation precedes me,” Jay said with a smile, “my friend Mrs McPhee will take care of your daughters, and my other friends both of you, while I have a quick word with Tony here.”
The twin girls looked at Mrs McPhee as she walked over and knelt in front of them. “Can ye tell me yer names lassies?” she said as she smiled at them. The one with her blonde hair in pigtails said “I’m Daffy, and she’s Daisy.”
“Well, can ye see hoo yer friends are?” The girls looked at Rose and Sian, their bound ankle over the front of their chair seats, and nodded as she continued “well, ah’m gonna dae the same to ye, and my friends will do it to yer parents, and then after ah’ll show ye what will happen.”
“Does it hurt,” Daisy asked quietly.
“Nah – cum wi me,” she said as she took their hands, two of the masked men accompanying their parents as Wilma and her husband as Tony said “Jack, I’m so sorry, I had no idea…”
“Come with me,” Jay said as he and the other masked man took Tony into the front room, “your family and friends will be safe in there while they eat.” He indicated a seat, Tony sitting while he took the chair opposite before he said “how have Rebecca and Rose coped with this?”
“Remarkably well – Mrs McPhee knows sign language, and we always face them when talking to them,” Jay said quietly. “All the children have been calm and accepted the situation, as has Rose and Sian’s mother, and I assure you for all the time we are here Mrs McPhee will take very good care of the children. We will ensure the adults are just as comfortable – so long as you do exactly what I ask you to do. Do you understand?”
Tony slowly nodded as he said “so what do you want me to do?”
“Right now – come and have lunch with everyone else. I’ll explain after that…”
It was the strangest thing that Fred Flint had ever seen – all three families sat round the table, having their food and drinking as if everything was all right – but all of them had rope round their waists securing them to the chair backs, and the kids had their ankles and legs tied together, while the adults had their ankles tied to the front legs of their chairs.
Daffy and Daisy had been allowed to take their coats off, revealing their white tops, but they were talking to the others as Rose and Rebecca signed with their mothers. The masked home invaders were standing round – well, the masked woman was talking with Rowena’s son, and clearing the dishes.
Home invaders who cleaned up after themselves?
“Yes, we are a little different from the norm,” Jay said as Fred turned his head, “but be assured, you are all going to be safe if you do as we say – as well as Tony Corrigan.”
“Why yes – along with their mothers, you will be securely bound and silenced, to ensure you cannot raise the alarm, but the children will be entertained as well.”
“We shall see,” Jay said with a smile, Fred wondering why he was reassured by that as Mrs McPhee said “noo, who needs tae go a place first?”
Rebecca raised her hand as the masked woman nodded, and one of the men untied her legs and removed the rope from her waist. She smiled as Mrs McPhee led her out of the room, as Tony said “what happens now?”
“The children get to go to the toilet, and then we will secure them again – a little more tightly this time,” Jay said with a smile.
“Us as well,” Daisy said as she looked at him.
“You as well – but do not be afraid, it doesn’t hurt?”
“He’s telling the truth,” Bobby said as he looked at the twins, “it feels strange, but it doesn’t hurt. What are we going to do this afternoon?”
“I think a game of hide and seek may be in order, while your parents rest a while,” Jay said as he looked round the table, “on which note – gentlemen, please secure the wrists of all six of them behind their backs.”
“Wait,” Carol said as she looked at Rose and signed, her daughter nodding as she replied. She then put her hands behind her back, feeling the soft cord as it was pulled tightly round them by one of the masked men, the two others taking care of Rowena and Wilma as Tony and Fred watched.
As the men were having their wrists secured, Rebecca came back in, her hands secured together behind her back and a length of rope tied round her arms and stomach to lock them in place. She nodded as Rose signed to her, then watched as Mrs McPhee released her friend from the chair and took her from the room.
“Please open your mouth as wide as you can,” Jay said as he looked at the young girl, waiting until she had before he eased the rolled up scarf between her lips, the knot in the middle keeping her tongue down as he tied the band round her head. One of the men then took her out of the room, as he looked at the table and said “so who’s next?”
“Yhsmmhmm,” Daisy and Daffy said as they stood in the front room, twisting round with their wrists secured together behind their backs and rope around their arms and stomach, their ankles and their legs below their knees. All six children were standing there now as they watched Jay pull the knotted gag between Tony’s lips, the adults sat in the front room facing the television. All of them had their arms secured to their sides with two bands of rope round their chests, their ankles secured and their legs below their knees, and their hands behind their backs.
“Noo then,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile, “Shall we?” The children nodded as they jumped out of the room, Jay smiling as he turned the television on.
“An Agatha Christie adaptation – how appropriate,” he said as the Kennet Branagh version of Murder on The Orient Express started to play, Rowena and Wilma resting their heads on their husband’s body as Carol tried to move, all of them hearing the muffled laughter as it went up.
Fred and Tony turned their heads and kissed their wives, the gags turning dark between their lips, as they tried to find some give in the ropes round their wrists and bodies – but with no success, as Rowena closed her eyes. She knew she should be afraid, but somehow Jay was keeping everyone calm, and they were accepting their situation. It was ridiculous – and yet, there they were, doing just that.
She could hear the children upstairs, and they were not crying, it actually sounded as if they were having fun. That woman was caring – an armed home invader, who cared for and looked after the children? She was glad of that, especially for Rebecca and Rose’s sake.
She looked at Carol, who looked back over and nodded to show she understood. She was also glad Rose was so understanding of the situation. Since they had been alone together, she had done the best she could, but walking into this situation she had no idea what she was meant to do. But Rose had accepted the fact they were all hostages, all going to be bound and gagged – and gone along with it.
Mind you, the obvious fact that Sian had a thing for young Bobby…
“Well done lassie,” Mrs McPhee said as Edwina found Bobby hiding in his parent’s walk-in wardrobe. She helped him to stand and watched as he jumped over to the young girl, smiling as the grey patch grew larger between his lips, and said “Hmghldduhfhndmh,”
“Shhmhhh,” Edwina said, and then she blushed as Bobby kissed her on the cheek, Mrs McPhee smiling as she said “ach, young love. Come on – we need tae go an join yer parents. Yer daddy will be going soon, and then we need tae start getting ye all ready for later…”
“Thank you,” Daffy said quietly as she was handed the glass of milk. The children were sat on the floor of the front room, their legs still bound but their arms released and the gags removed, while Rowena handed mugs of coffee to the other adults, before she sat down.
“What happens now,” she said as she sat down in the armchair.
“Your husband is going to go with my friend,” Jay said with a smile as Tony came back into the front room. “As for the rest of you, regretfully we need to take steps to make sure none of you can raise the alarm, especially once we leave. I assure you, so long as Tony does not do anything, stupid, you will all be unharmed.”
“Is that why you made me do those things upstairs before I made the coffee?”
“Aye,” Mrs McPhee said, “and ye’ll all see wha it is later.”
“All of you, please, be brave and do as they say,” Tony said as he kissed his wife, and then looked at the others.
“We will dad,” Bobby said as he looked at his father, Rebecca nodding as he left with Jay and one of the masked men.
“You know what to do when you get there,” Jay said quietly, “call at regular intervals, and good luck.” He watched as they walked out, and then went back into the room.
“Now, we need to ensure you are all comfortable – Mrs McPhee, would you kindly untie the twins, and then take them to the toilet.”
“Aye,” the masked woman said as she did that, and Jay nodded to the other two men. “We’ll make sure they are secure first,” he said as Fred and Wilma were released, and stood up, looking at Jay as he picked up a bag. “You come with me and Mrs McPhee – watch them until we come back.”
“Where are we going,” Wilma asked as Fred put his arm round her.
“A spare bedroom – all of you are going to be kept together, but you will be staying there. Mrs McPhee is going to make sure the girls have changed – and I will make sure you both are prepared as well…”
“Look at us, Mummy,” Daisy said as she and Daffy came into the bedroom, Mrs McPhee walking with them. They were both now wearing blue checked pyjamas with a pink floral print on it, and a pink band holding their hair back.
“Well, you look happy – what happened to your hands,” Tony said as he and Wilma sat on the double bed.
“Mrs McPhee did this so we could not get free,” Daffy said as she looked down. Their hands were covered by white socks, the tops of the socks taped to the sleeves of their pyjama tops, while their wrists were crossed and tied together in front of their stomachs. Rope was also round their waist, to hold them in position, while a second band was wrapped round their arms and stomach.
“I know – Jay has done the same to us,” Wilma said as she looked at them. “Do you have the tape over your hands as well?” As the twins nodded, she felt the sponge in her fingers, the silver tape holding her hands in a fist and then the socks pulled over them. She was wearing a pair of Rowena’s blue silk pyjamas, while Fred was wearing some of Tony’s night attire – a white t-shirt and grey bottoms.
“I am just making sure they cannot move their wrists either,” Jay said from behind them as he knelt on the bed, wrapping the rope round Tony’s wrists as he bound them tightly together. He had used white medical tape to secure the tops of the socks to Tony’s bare arms, and to the sleeves of Wilma’s top.
“Why are you doing that to Mummy,” Daffy asked as Jay then wrapped a longer length of rope round Wilma’s arms and pulled them into her sides, forming two bands that framed her chest as the tope was pulled over them.
“Well, ye know ah tied that rope round yer arms and tummies to make sure ye cannae move them?” As the two girls nodded, Mrs McPhee said “well, jay is making sure yer parents cannae move their arms as well.”
“Can we… Can we have rope round our upper arms as well,” Daisy said as she watched the way her parents looked.
“Aye,” Mrs McPhee said as she used two lengths of rope to bind their upper arms to their bodies, while Jay took more ropes, and secured the ankles of their mother and father together, as well as their legs below their knees. As they twisted round, Mrs McPhee said “ah want ye both tae lie in the middle o the bed – yer gonna all spend a while there.”
“And us,” Fred asked as he twisted his upper body round, the ropes holding his arms firmly to his sides.
“the children first,” Jay said as he lifted Daisy up and lay her on her back, and then Daffy next to her, Mrs McPhee smiling as she used ropes to secure their ankles tightly together, and then their legs below their knees. As she tied rope to make sure their wrists were secured to the other leg bindings, Jay compressed tow sponges in his gloved hands and said to Wilma and Fred “Time for you to be quiet. Open wide – you will get used to it in time.”
“We’ll all talk later,” Fred said quietly, Wilma nodding before the sponge was pushed into her mouth. She could feel it expanding, filling her mouth and pushing her tongue down as she opened her eyes wide. There was then a soft peeling sound, as Jay wound the white medical tape tightly round their heads to keep them silent.
“Will you do that to us,” Daffy asked quietly as Jay helped Wilma to jump over to the over side of the bed and lie on her side, her eyes smiling as she looked at her daughter wriggling round.
“Noo quite,” Mrs McPhee said as she folded a cloth, “Ah’ll put this in yer moof, and then cover it wi tape, but no all the way round.”
“Okay,” Daffy whispered, opening her mouth as Jay pulled her mother’s ankles back and tied them to her chest ropes. “Shffhlsfhnnee,” she mumbled as it pressed down on her tongue, Mrs McPhee tearing a strip from the roll and then pressing it firmly down onto her skin.
“Uhllbhllrht,” Fred said as Jay helped him to lie on his side on the other side of the bed, looking at Daisy as he was hogtied as well, while Mrs McPhee gagged his other daughter.
“Check them every fifteen minutes,” Jay said to the masked man as he and Mrs McPhee left the room, Wilma gag kissing Daffy on the forehead as the door was closed…
“Are they all right,” Rowena asked as Jay and Mrs McPhee came back in.
“The Flints? Oh they’re just fine,” Jay said with a smile before he took a mobile phone from his pocket.
“This is Jay Edwards.
“Excellent – check in at the next scheduled time.” He looked at Bobby, Rebecca, Rose and Edwina before he said “your father is doing everything we asked him to do.
“Now, however, I think it is time we started to get the four of you ready. Mrs McPhee, would you please release Rose, Edwina and Sian, and take them so that they can get ready, and then their mother can see they are suitably dressed before they come back down?”
“Aye – come wi me,” the masked woman said as the two girls and their mother were released, walking up the stairs as Rowena held her children.
“What are you going to do with them,” she said as she looked at Jay.
“Secure them all in the same room – then we will take care of you and your friend once they are fully settled,” Jay said with a smile. Rowena nodded and signed to Rebecca, who nodded in return and then used her own fingers.
“How tightly will we be tied?”
“Very – but that is for your safety as well. We don’t want any of you falling off the beds, after all.”
As Rowena signed that, Rebecca smiled and shook her head, and then replied.
“You’re strange. Are you really that concerned for our safety?”
Jay just smiled and nodded as the other three looked at him…
When Carol came back with her children, Rowena nodded and said “I’m glad they fit.”
“Well, it did help,” Carol said as she looked at Sian, wearing a shirt sleeved pink top and grey pants with her hair in two bunches, and Rose with a long sleeved white top covered in grey stars and grey pants, her hair also in two bunches.
“Aunt Rowena, can I ask a favour?”
“What is it Sian?”
“Mrs McPhee showed us where we would be – is it all right if I am with Bobby on one bed, and the girls on the other?”
Rowena looked at Sian, and then at Bobby as he blushed, before she said “all right. Do we go up now?”
“You do,” Jay said as the last three were released, all of them heading up with Mrs McPhee as Jay opened a bag. “It’s time for you two to be made ready,” he said as he looked at the girls, “I want you both to hold your hands out, and then make a fist with these in them.” He held out some half sponges, the girls looking at each other and then nodding as they gripped the sponges.
Jay then handed Carol a roll of silver tape, and said “I want you to cover their hands with the tape, this will actually mean they stay where they are.”
“Are you ready,” she said as she looked at Rose, smiling as she nodded before she took the tape and covered her hands, making two gloves before she did the same to Sian.
“Now pull these up over their hands,” Jay said as he handed their mother two pairs of sports socks, watching as she covered the silver tape, and then using some white tape to secure the tops to their arms. “Well done,” Jay said with a smile as one of the other masked men stood behind Carol, “now we begin. I want you both to put your hands behind your back.”
The girls did as they were asked, Sian feeling the rope as it forced her crossed wrists together behind her back, then looking at her sister as she said “you will be all right with Rebecca, won’t you?”
As Rose nodded, Jay crossed and bound her wrists behind her back as well, before he took a longer length of rope and bound her arms to her sides, making two bands as he did so, then using two shorter lengths to tighten the bands between her arms and body.
“Does it have to be so tight,” Carol whispered as he took another longer length of rope, and began to bind Rose’s arms to her side.
“It does – but trust me when I say it is not uncomfortable,” Jay said as Rose nodded, feeling the bands pushing her arms to her sides as she smiled at Rowena.
As he completed the binding of Rose, Mrs McPhee returned with Bobby, Rebecca and Rowena. Bobby was wearing a grey short sleeved top with a picture of Bugs Bunny and “Acme Looney Tunes Factory” on the front, and black shorts, while his sister was wearing a long sleeved blue top with an embroidered owl and “night owl” on the front, and blue bottoms with white polka dots.
“Oh,” Bobby said as he saw Sian twisting round in the ropes, “you look…”
“Exactly like ye will, laddie,” Mrs McPhee said as she took four half sponges from the bag. Rowena sat next to Carol and took the silver tape from Jay, the other two girls watching as Bobby and Rebecca were bound in the same way as them.
As Mrs McPhee passed the shorter lengths of rope between Rebecca’s arms and body, Carol said “can we come up with them to see where they will be?”
“OF course – it will give you both the opportunity to change as well,” Jay said as he tied the last knot off. “Shall we go up now?” He picked up the bag the ropes had come from, nodding to one of the masked men as he, Mrs McPhee and the other man followed the families up the stairs.
As they passed one door, Jay opened it and looked in, to see Fred and Wilma looking at their sleeping twin girls, struggling in their hogties. He nodded and closed the door, then led the others into the next bedroom, which had two double beds.
“Now then,” he said as he looked at Bobby and Sian, “you two go and sit on that bed, and the others on that bed over there. Ladies, please stand against the wall, and do not move.”
The masked man took Rowena and Carol to the side as they watched Mrs McPhee take some lengths of rope and walk to Rebecca and Rose, Jay going to Sian and Bobby. They started by tying the ankles of each of the children tightly together, the rope going around and between their legs so that they could only wriggle their toes.
A second band was then tied around their legs below their knees, Bobby looking at how it felt on his bare legs as the girls saw their bottoms being tightened round their legs by the ropes.
“Now then,” Jay said as he looked at the four children, “the time has come for you all to be quiet. Mrs McPhee is going to put something in your mouths – it may feel funny to begin with, but you will get used to it. I will then wrap this special white tape round your heads – it won’t hurt or harm your hair – and then you all lie down and we secure your ankles to the bed. Mrs McPhee will then stay with you for a while.”
“Just keep calm,” Rowena said as she looked at them.
“We’ll be fine mum,” Bobby said before he opened his mouth and let the masked woman push the compressed sponge ball in, feeling it expand and push his tongue down as Jay wrapped the white tape round his head. Rebecca and Rose watched as Sian was gagged in the same way, and then it was their turn…
They were then helped to lie on the bed, before more rope was used to bind their ankles to the foot of the bed. Sian lay with her head on Bobby’s shoulder, the young boy putting his head on hers, as Mrs McPhee selected a book and started to read.
“Come,” Jay said to Carol and Rowena, “your turn now…”
He took the two older women into the master bedroom, Rowena handing Carol a long nightgown as she said “you go first – the bathroom is through there.” As her friend went through, she sat on the bed and looked at Jay, before she said “why am I so calm about all this?”
“It’s a gift,” Jay said with a smile, “but I assured you that you and the children would come to no harm, and I have kept my word, true?”
As Rowena nodded, she said “my husband is cooperating?”
“He is indeed,” Jay said as Carol came back in. The nightgown was made of grey cotton, with coloured dots in a pattern all over it. “Now, I need you to go and prepare. Carol, hold your hands out, and then make a fist over these.” He took two half sponges from the bag his associate had brought in, and smiled as she did what he had asked – before he covered her fists in grey tape, then pulled a pair of long white socks up and over her arms, before he taped the tops to the sleeves of her gown.
“I see what the kids meant, about this,” she said quietly as Jay took a length of rope, and guided her hands behind her back. She stood still as she felt the cords over the cotton, Jay working quickly to ensure her wrists were held together behind her back. “I trust that is not too uncomfortable,” he said quietly as he tied the rope off, and tucked the ends into the bands.
“I can cope – I guess you’re going to bind my arms next?”
“I am indeed,” Jay said as he took a longer length of rope out, and wrapped it around her arms and body as Rowena came out, wearing a long pink nightgown with a low neck. The associate handed her two half sponges, and then started to cover her hands as she watched Jay binding the arms of her friend tightly to her sides.
“Well, I get the feeling we’re going to be staying here,” she said as she listened to the sound of the duct tape tearing free from the wall, Carol nodding as Jay tightened the bands framing her chest by taking the rope under one arm, up and around the back of her neck, and then under the other arm.
“Please, be seated,” he said with a smile as Carol walked slowly over to the bed. “My friend will ensure your ankles and legs are secured while I take care of Rowena.”
“So what are we going to talk about,” Rowena said as Jay guided her hands behind her back, and she felt the rope pulled tightly over them.
“How about Bobby and Sian?”
Rowena laughed as she felt the rope going round her arms and body, pulling them into her sides as the band started to form under her chest, while Carol watched the masked associate binding her ankles tightly together, and then securing her legs above her knees, the skirt of the nightgown gathering under the band of rope.
“I did not see that coming – but she does seem to have a little crush on him, doesn’t she?”
“I get the feeling the crush goes both ways,” Rowena laughed even as the bands of rope pressed her arms into her sides, her chest up and out, “so do you think we need to start setting some rules for when they get together?”
“Perhaps – we really should talk to them tomorrow,” Rowena said as Jay walked her over to sit next to Carol, both women twisting their upper bodies round as Jay knelt and started to bind Rowena’s ankles and legs.
“True – but what else could we discuss?”
“To be truthful ladies,” Jay said as he bound Rowena’s legs above her knees, and then stood up, “you’re not going to be in a position to discuss much at all in a few minutes. What I am going to do is let you sleep with your legs not tied to your chest ropes – we will watch you until we leave, however.”
“So how do you plan to keep us quiet – the same way as the others?”
“Quite correct,” Jay said as he went to the bag, and took out two sponge balls which he compressed in his gloved hands, “so, open wide…”
As Jay left the bedroom, he said “stay there until we give the word” and closed the door, to see Mrs McPhee come out of the other bedroom.
“The wee darlings are all asleep,” she said with a smile, “any word?”
“Tell you in a minute,” Jay said as he took out his mobile phone.
“This is Jay Edwards.
“Understood – make sure he is secure, and then leave. You will be paid in the usual way – and put thanks for your help today.”
“So the transfer has been completed?”
“It has indeed – how are the Flint family?”
The two masked robbers looked in the third bedroom, to see the twins sleeping peacefully, their parents breathing in and out gently through their noses on either side.
“All good – let’s prepare to leave…”
“Chrhhl? Chrhhll, whkkhp.”
Carol slowly opened her eyes to see Rowena looking at her, the white band covering the lower half of her face as she lay on her side.
She watched as Rowena lifted her head slightly to look over her shoulder, and said “Shhsxxhmmm. Chnnuhrrhnhfhn?” Carol listened, and then shook her head before she mumbled “thhmhssthfghn.”
Both women nodded as they rolled to the sides, and after a few attempts managed to get into a seated position, before they pushed down and slowly stood up. Carol turned her head and watched as Rowena slowly jumped round to the other side of the bed, the ropes hugging her nightgown to her body, before they both looked at the open door.
Carol nodded as they took small jumps to the doorway, making their way through before they went into the corridor. They could see the other doors had been left open, both of them looking into the first bedroom where the four older children were.
“Hlllhrhsss,” Carol said as she saw her older daughter turn on the bed to look at her. The other three were still asleep, their chests rising and falling as they breathed in and out, but as Carol sat on the bed Bobby opened his eyes and said “Hffthghnnn?”
“Yhsss – hntchrrlwhllsthhhr,” Rowena said, Carol nodding as she jumped back into the corridor, and down to the third bedroom, easing pas the door before she looked round.
Rowena nodded as she looked at Wilma, her eyes wide open as she lay hogtied on the bed. Fred was also still asleep, but the twins looked up as they lay on their backs, Daisy giggling as Daffy said “whsthtlchnhhtt…”
All of them then heard the front door opening, and footsteps running up the stairs before the door was opened, and Tony Corrigan looked in, his face drawn as he said “oh my god – are you all right?”
Rowena nodded as he was followed by two policeman, and she could see others moving down the corridor, the tears of relief starting to come.
“A nice addition to our accounts last night then,” Yvonne said as she sat with Mark.
“Indeed – but I took the liberty of making a donation to the school that Rebecca and Rose attend as well. We can afford it, after all.”
“They did seem to cope well,” Yvonne said with a smile, “and it did make me think. We should teach the kids sign language.
“Just in case…”