Jay’s Corporate Day
As Mark Williamson sat back, he looked at the tall, broad shouldered man sitting on the comfortable chair opposite him, and smiled as he said “so how are the twins?”
“Getting taller and stronger every day,” Brian Holderness-Carter said in his Australian accent, “they’re looking forward to seeing all of you soon.
“And yet, you are here a week or two early,” Mark said as he put his glass down, “which tells me you have something you want me to do.”
“You’re getting to know me too well,” Brian said with a smile as he took a photograph from a manila folder and put it in front of his friend. The photograph was of four women, dressed in their finery as they sat at a table at some sort of function. “These are the four directors of the Tannadice Investment Group.”
“I’ve heard of them,” Mark said as he looked at them, “highly regarded, and certainly I haven’t heard anything untoward about their activities. So why do they interest you.”
“To be honest, it’s not them directly we want to learn about,” Brian said as he pointed to the fair haired woman, “this is Lesley Tannadice, founder of the firm and the daughter of a man called Gerald Manville.”
“Gerald Manville – as in Manville Enterprises? I read in the news they’d hit the rocks, to coin a phrase.”
“Indeed – big time, and Gerald Manville has disappeared. My superiors have reason to believe, however, that he is still obtaining and siphoning funds through his daughter’s firm.”
“Without her knowledge? I find it difficult to believe that,” Mark said as he shook his head.
“Well, we need to be sure – and we need to make sure he answers for what happened to his firm. To do this, we need to get the usual patches onto their system – but their system is unique. No transactions are possible without the approval of all four of the directors – at the same time.”
“Intriguing – so what are you asking?”
“We’re asking Jay Edwards and his friends to pay a visit to the country home of Lesley Tannadice this weekend. She and the other three directors are having a meeting there that afternoon – they do this once a month, as it also allows their children to spend some time together. The access to their systems is through a terminal in Lesley’s house, so no need to take them all away – but it will need a team to keep the children occupied for a while.”
“Seven – five girls and two boys, ages ranging from five to twelve,” Brian said as he sat back, Mark rubbing his chin before he said “this weekend?”
“I’m afraid that is the window of opportunity – why?”
“Lynn is away with the kids this weekend – so no Mrs McPhee. I can call on someone else, however – might bring a different perspective to the events of the day.”
“Do I want to know who?”
“Probably not – let me have the details Brian, and I’ll get this done for you.”
“Now who could that be ringing,” the blonde haired woman said as she sat playing with her two year old daughter.
“I’ll find out,” her husband said as he went into the hallway, then looked in the door and said “you’d better take this Janna.”
“I need to take this call – why Steve?”
Her husband just held the phone out as she took the handset, and said “hello?”
“This is Jay Edwards.” She recognised the soft Geordie voice as she nodded, and closed the door, before she said “I’m honoured – to what do I owe this?”
“I need your help this weekend, in your professional capacity – you will be one of my team, but we have a small group of children who need to be amused and entertained. Are you in a position to assist?”
“I should be – if my partner does not mind babysitting duties. How long?”
“Plan to be away for the Saturday – I’ll text you the meeting details, and thank you. It should prove to be a most entertaining game to play for all of them…”
The retail park car park was virtually empty as the four men walked over to the white transit van, one of them banging on the side as the door was opened.
“Gentlemen, come in,” Jay said in his soft accent as he opened the door, allowing them to come in. Like them, he was wearing a dark blue boiler suit with black leather gloves, a black balaclava covering his head. With him was a woman, dressed and masked in the same way.
“Have you lost weight, Mrs McPhee,” one of them laughed as Jay closed the doors to.
“I’m not Mrs McPhee.”
The Southern accent took them by surprise, as Jay said “Mrs McPhee is otherwise occupied today – gentlemen, allow me to introduce the female Games Player. For today, we will call her Miss Player.”
“Pleasure to meet you all,” she said as the others nodded.
“Now,” Jay said quietly, “to business…”
The Tannadice house
“All right, Graham – you have a safe journey, and we’ll all see you tomorrow morning,” Lesley Tannadice said as she stood in the hallway of their house. Her straw blonde hair was cut into a pixie bob, and she was wearing a black short sleeved top with a crimson scarf wrapped loosely round her neck. The knee length skirt was blue with a black leather waist band and hem, while her legs were in a pair of dark blue tights, her feet in a pair of black heels strapped round her ankles.
“I love you too – and I’ll pass on your love to the girls.
“All of them,” she said with a smile as she heard the footsteps running down the stairs, and turned to look. Eight year old Fiona was first, wearing a white sleeveless dress with multi-coloured butterflies on it, while five year old Heather was wearing a blue pinstripe sleeveless dress with a blue butterflies on it. Both girls were wearing slippers, and they laughed as they ran into the front room, Heather’s dark brown hair contrasting with Fiona’s reddish blonde locks.
“Right then,” Lesley said as she put the telephone down, and clapped her hands as she walked into the front room, “what shall we do this morning?”
“Can we make some cakes, Mummy,” Fiona asked as she sat at one end of a long couch, Heather nodding as she pushed herself up at the other end.
“Well, when the others get here, perhaps Teri can supervise you,” Lesley said with a smile as a grey transit van pulled up outside the house. Hearing the doorbell, she smiled as she said “now you two wait there” and walked to the front door.
“Hello,” she said as she opened the door, “can I hel…”
“Good morning, Lesley,” the man in front of her said in a soft Geordie accent as he made her walk backwards with the shotgun in his hand, four more men and one women following them in before the front door was closed. “My name is Jay Edwards – perhaps you have heard of me?”
“Oh god,” she whispered as Fiona and Heather came out, stopping and staring at the people in their boiler suits, the masks over their heads letting them see only their lips and eyes.
“Mummy, who are they,” Fiona said quietly.
“Let me guess – you are Fiona and you are Heather,” the masked woman said as she knelt in front of them. “My name is Miss Player, and I’m here with Jay because he wants to do some business with your mummy and her friends.”
“Why are you wearing masks,” Heather whispered as she looked at her.
“Well, there is a reason Heather – I’m afraid we have to make sure you do not know who we are, and also we have to make sure you and your mummy cannot tell the others we are here before they come in. That’s the bad news – the good news is I am here to make it a great big game for all of you. Would you like to see what I can do?”
The two girls nodded as one of the men handed Miss Player a roll of silver tape, and she tore a length off. “Well, the first thing we have to do is make sure you cannot say anything. Put your lips together, Fiona, and I’ll put this over your mouth, then you can try to talk.”
Heather watched as Miss Player pressed the tap over her sister’s mouth, and then giggled as Fiona said “Ehcchntshtllthlk.”
“You sound funny…”
“Well, I think you need to sound the same Heather, so it’s your turn now – put your lips together.” Miss Player then pressed the tape firmly over the younger sister’s mouth, the tow girls giggling as their mother watched with Jay.
“Look, I’ll do whatever you say,” Lesley said quietly, “so long as you don’t hurt us.”
“What do you think girls – should your mother also be unable to talk?”
As both girls nodded, Miss Player handed the tape back to Jay, who tore three strips off and then smoothed them over Lesley’s mouth, before he took her hands behind her back and taped them together.
“Whlluhdhthatthhsss,” Fiona asked, Miss Player nodding as she took the tape back, and then went behind the older girl, Heather watching as she taped her wrists together, and then taped her ankles as well. As Lesley watched, she did the same to the younger girl, before she said “now, can you jump into the front room?”
“Shall we,” Jay said as he took Lesley by the arm, the group following the two girls as they jumped forward…
The Tannadice House
Barbara Hope looked in the rear view mirror as she pulled into the driveway, and smiled at Lesley-Anne. “I’m sure you’ll be fine today,” she said as she brought the car to as stop.
“I know – but it’s my birthday,” the young girl said, “and I wish – I wish Daddy was here.”
“So do I,” Barbara said quietly. It had been six months since her husband Rumel had been killed in the car accident, and although it hurt a little less every day, it still hurt.
Especially when Lesley-Anne looked a lot like him. She had his skin colouring and black hair, and was wearing a black dress with long sleeves, a red and white patterned band round the waist and a red band at the hem. She was also wearing pair of laced up black boots that went under the skirt of the dress, and she had a long black length of cloth wrapped loosely round her neck.
Barbara was more casually dressed – a long sleeved grey smock with a set of purple beads hanging down from her neck, dark tights and mid-calf brown suede boots with a flat heel. Her own black hair was pulled back to show her face.
“Well, we’re here now,” she said as she turned off the engine and got out, opening the door so that Lesley-Anne could get out as well. They walked up to the front door of the house, ringing the doorbell and then walking in as the door was opened – only for Barbara to stop in her tracks as she saw the masked man standing there, smiling as he said “hello Barbara – not, please, no screams or anything. After all, my friend is with your daughter, and she wants her to join her friends as well.”
“What do you mean,” she said as she turned round – and saw Lesley-Anne staring at her, the gloved hand of the woman standing behind her over her mouth. “Oh my god,” she whispered as she turned back round, “where are Lesley and the girls?”
“In here – shall we join them,” he said as he continued to smile, Barbara noting his North of England accent as she walked in and saw Fiona and Heather sitting wither side of Lesley. All three had their hands behind their backs, and she could see the silver band round their ankles, as well as the strip covering their mouths.
“Whhhrhththhddhp,” Lesley-Anne mumbled into the gloved hand.
“Well, my friend Jay here is going to ask your mother and the others to do something for him,” she said quietly.
“Jay – oh no, Jay Edwards?”
“The same – and this is Miss Player, who is looking after the children today. And you’re having fun, aren’t you girls?”
“Yhsshwhhrr,” Fiona said as she looked at Lesley-Anne, “whttthjhnnhs?”
Miss Player took the hand away, before Lesley-Anne said “it’s my birthday today – my godmother is going to cook a special tea for us all…”
“And she still will,” Miss Player said as she walked round and knelt in front of the young girl, “but it will be a little different. Now, we need to make sure you cannot warn the others who are coming that we are here, so I need to make sure you cannot move or talk clearly like the other girls.
“Please,” Barbara said as she turned to look at Jay, “she has asthma…”
“So noted – Miss Player?”
“Well, right now I do not think we need to use some tape,” the masked woman said with a smile, “but we do need to make it difficult for you to talk.” Looking at the scarf she had round her neck, she unwound it and held it in her gloved hands, and said “can you open your mouth nice and wide for me?”
Her mother watched as Miss Player pulled the scarf between her lips, and then tied it round her head, securing the ends under her hair so that the ends hung down the side in front of her.
“There,” she said as she put her gloved hand on Lesley-Anne’s cheek, “is that all right?”
“Yhsss,” she said as she nodded her head, Jay saying “there, all right for you?” As Barbara nodded, he took her hands behind her back and started to use a length of rope to secure her wrists together.
“Whlluhdhtthatthmhh,” Lesley-Anne said as she watched Jay wind the rope around and between her mother’s arms to hold her wrists together. Miss Player nodded as she took a length of white rope from a bag, and guided the young girl’s arms behind her back as well.
“Whhsshshghtrhhp,” Heather asked as she wriggled round.
“Well, later on, you will all be the same,” Miss Player said as she took the rope between Lesley-Anne’s wrists to tighten the band, “but right now, we’re going to do each family slightly differently, so that you can see some of the different ways people can play these games.”
“Tie-up games Barbara – we’re making this a big game for the children,” Jay said as he guided her to an armchair and sat her down, before he knelt down and started to bind her ankles together.
As he did this, Miss Player took Lesley-Anne and sat her next to Fiona, the girls looking at each other as she took more rope and tied her ankles together. She giggled as she heard the soft squeaking sound as her legs were made to rub together, while she looked at the silver band around the ankles of the other two girls.
“There,” the masked woman said as she tied the ends off and looked up, “You all right like this?”
“Fhnkjsshh,” Lesley-Anne said as she wriggled round, the other girls nodding as Lesley watched Jay pull a rolled up scarf between her friend’s lips to gag her.
“Now then,” Jay said as Barbara tried to get comfortable, the rope tight round her wrists and ankles, “the news that this is your daughter’s birthday is interesting. No presents?”
“Nhh – shdhsnttwhntthm,” Barbara mumbled as she felt the scarf getting wetter in her mouth.
“Ah,” Jay said as he looked at both of them, “please, accept my sympathies, but I think we can try to make this as special a day as possible for all of them. Now, Miss Player, when I was looking round I saw that there was a television room next to this one. Please, take one of our friends and let the girls go through to watch something while I have a word with their mothers.”
“All right girls,” Miss Player said, “stand up and come with me.” Lesley and Barbara watched as the three girls slid forward and stood up, then jumped out of the room as Miss Player and one of the other masked men followed them.
“Now,” Jay said as he sat down and looked at the two bound and gagged women, “let me explain what is going to happen, and then I’ll untie you both and let you go to prepare some lunch…”
“There you go,” Miss Player said as she untied the scarf that was around Lesley-Anne’s head and eased it out of her mouth, the young girl noticing the dark damp patch in the middle, while Jay gently peeled the tape away from the mouths of Fiona and Heather. The three girls were sat at a table, rope around their waists to keep them secured to the chairs but their ankles still held together, while they rubbed their wrists in front of themselves. “Ready for your lunch?”
“Yes please,” Heather said as Lesley and Barbara out the plates of food down in front of each of them, and then sat on the seats themselves, raising their arms while two of Jay’s friends secured their waists to the chair with rope. They then knelt down and secured their ankles to the front legs of the chairs, before Miss Player passed their plates of food over.
“How long is this going to go on for,” Barbara asked as she looked at Jay.
“Well, right now I suggest you sit and eat, and talk – questions about how long this can go on for can wait until later.”
“This is good, Aunt Lesley,” Lesley-Anne said as she put the cod fish finger into her mouth.
“Well, I’m glad you’re not afraid – any of you?”
“It’s like Miss Player said,” Fiona answered as she took a drink from a glass of water, “we just treat it as a big game, and we’ll be fine.”
The two older women looked at each other, as another of the masked men came in and whispered into Jay’s ear.
“Ah – it appears the next guests have arrived,” he said as he looked round the table, “so not a word from anybody – let’s make it a big surprise for them as well.”
“Here we are,” Jean Clark said as she pulled up and parked her car next to Barbara’s. “Ready for a fun afternoon?”
“I am,” her six year old daughter Kylie said with a smile. The brown haired girl was wearing a pink sleeveless dress with an elastic waist and a pleated skirt, as well as white trainers.
“Doesn’t look as if Ian is here yet.”
“I’m sure he will be here soon,” Jean said as she looked at her son. Albert was nine, and today was wearing a long sleeved blue sweatshirt with a Spider-Man design no the front, blue and black striped joggers, and black trainers. “If they’re still eating, at least we don’t need to ask them to share it out.”
“Well, I was hungry,” Kylie said as she put her finger to her lips and twisted round.
“Come on then, let’s go in,” Jean said as they walked to the door, the soles of her high tan leather boots crunching on the gravel. Her legs were in dark hose, visible from her knees to under the long blue smock she was wearing, an ethnic print infinity scarf round her neck. She stopped and knocked on the door, then let herself in as she said “Hey Lesley, we’re here.”
“Indeed you are.”
Jean stared at the woman who stepped out from the dining room, wearing a blue boiler suit and a black balaclava mask, then heard the door close as she turned to see a man dressed in the same way standing there.
“You must be Albert and Kylie,” the woman said as she looked at the children, “my name is Miss Player, and I’m here to make sure you and the others have an incredibly exciting afternoon and evening.”
“Why are you wearing a mask,” Kylie said as she looked at her.
“Well, I’ll tell you – but first I need to make sure that you are both like the girls when they come through from the dining table. Tell me, have you both had some lunch?”
“Yeah – it’s why we’re late,” Albert said before Jean finally said “and who are you?”
“Me? My name is Jay Edwards – and we will talk in a few minutes, but first watch.”
“Tell me – do you know what this is,” Miss Player said as she showed the two children a roll of masking tape.
“Yeah – daddy uses it when he is painting,” albert said quietly.
“Well, this afternoon, all of you are going to be part of a big event where you can’t talk or move easily. So I’m going to take some strips of this, and put them over your mouths, then you can get used to it. All right?”
“Does it hurt,” Kylie whispered.
“Not at all – let me show you,” Miss Player said as she tore a strip off and pressed it gently over
“No – let me show you,” Miss Player said, smiling as she gently pressed the tape over Kylie’s mouth with her gloved hands, and then added two more. She looked at Albert and Jean, and then said quietly “Htsshnhhtbht.”
“Your turn now,” the masked woman said as she put more strips over the young boy’s mouth, watching as he put his hands on his sister’s shoulders and they both looked at their mother.
“Are you… Are you both all right,” she said, aware of Jay guiding her wrists behind her back before he took the masking tape from Miss Player and secured her wrists together. She was amazed by the fact her children were not afraid or panicking, as they all walked into the front room.
“Well, my friend Jay did that to the other two mummies,” Miss Player said as he helped Jean to sit down and taped her ankles together. “Do you want to be like her?”
“Please, you don’t have to,” Jean said quietly, “they’ll be good…”
“It’s their choice,” Jay said as she looked at her children, surprised when they both nodded and put their hands behind their back. She watched as Miss Player secured their wrists together, and then their ankles, before she passed the tape to Jay.
“Now, I’m going to see if the girls have finished, and if they have, they’ll come in here,” she said as she left the room, returning a few minutes later and standing to the side as Jean watched Fiona, Heather and Lesley-Anne jump in, their wrists behind their backs, Lesley-Anne with the scarf between her lips again and the other two with silver tape over their mouths.
“Hmmhhghndhnhss” Albert said as they sat with them, Jay smiling as his masked partners walked Lesley and Barbara through.
“Let me guess - I get gagged now,” Jean said, Jay nodding as he covered her lips with several strips of the masking tape. The three women looked at each other as Miss Player said “I’ll set up things in the next room” and left.
“Lhslee, Bhrbbhee, whtshgnnhn?”
“Hrhbbhree,” Lesley mumbled through the silver tape that covered her mouth, Barbara nodding as Jean saw the darker corners of the white scarf at the corners of her mouth.
The three women then heard the door to the house open and close, and then the sound of “what the…”
They saw a woman the same age as them standing in the doorway, wearing a black top buttoned up the front, an ethnic print skirt, light purple tights and knee length burgundy boots with a block heel. With her were two children – a seven year old boy wearing a black zipped top and light blue jeans, and a twelve year old girl wearing a grey round necked top and a denim skirt.
“Ah – the fourth partner,” Jay said as he stood up, “welcome, you must be Dawn – and this would be Ian and Teri. Welcome to a very special day.
“Mummy, why are my aunts like that,” Teri said as she looked at the other three bound and gagged women.
“I think – I think we’ve walked into a robbery,” Dawn said quietly as she heard footsteps behind herself.
“Ah – I see the last two have arrived for the party.”
“Party? What Party?” Ian turned to see a woman dressed like the man, in a blue boiler suit with a black balaclava over her head, who smiled and said “who do we have here Jay?”
“Jay? Jay EDWARDS?” Dawn looked at Lesley, Barbara and Jean, who all nodded as the colour started to drain from her face.
“Ian, Teri,” Dawn said quietly, “why don’t you go with this lady and see where the others are? I’m sure you can join in with whatever they are doing.”
“My name is Miss Player – why don’t you two come with me, and we’ll see if we can have fun.”
“Okay,” Ian said as she took their hands in her gloved ones, and led them into a room at the back, as Jay said “please, come in Dawn, and put your hands behind your back…”
“What’s going on,” Teri said as they went into the room, to see the others dancing round – well, jumping round with their wrists and ankles bound. Fiona turned and said “hllthrrr” before she joined in again.
“Now, we are going to play another game,” Miss Player said, “and it’s going to be find your friends. So will you all sit down, and close your eyes?”
Teri and Ian watched as the four girls and one boy jumped over and sat on seats, then closed their eyes as Miss Player covered them with strips of the masking tape.
“Now, wait until I say you can move,” she said, before she indicated the other two should come over to where there was a large round table by the side. She nodded to the two masked men who had been watching, who walked over and lifted the glass top off, before she said “I want you two to climb in and sit facing each other.”
“Okay, we’ll do that,” Teri said as she stepped into the middle and sat down, Ian sitting against the opposite leg – then watched as the women knelt behind his sister, took her arms round the table leg and tied her wrists together with rope.
She then knelt to the side and tied his ankles together, before going behind him and tying his wrists behind the chair leg, then secured his sister’s ankles.
“Now, when I say,” she said when she walked into the centre of the room, the other five turning their heads from side to side, “Ian and Teri will start calling to you. See who finds them first.”
The brother and sister looked at each other, and then Miss Player said “now!”
“Why are they shouting,” Dawn said as she watched Jay securing her ankles together.
“I think it is part of the game,” Jay said as he tied the rope off, and then stood up. “In a while, we’ll take you all through to see how they are doing, but for now I want you to listen very carefully.”
He rolled up a white scarf and pulled it between Dawn’s lips, tying the band round her head before he stood in front of all four of them. Walking over to stand in front of them, he smiled as he said “later, we will prepare a birthday tea for the children. While they eat that, I am going to take you to the office in the house. You are all going to enter your access codes to the company system, and then authorize jointly a withdrawal from the accounts.”
“Hnhfthrrthth,” Lesley asked through the tape that covered her mouth.
“After that, you are going to have a very special family night here. One you will all enjoy, before we leave. Right now, however, shall we go and see what they are doing?”
The four women looked at each other and then nodded, as they were helped to stand up, and then slowly shuffled and jumped across the floor towards the doorway. They made their way into the back room, to see all the children kneeling round the round table, Ian and Teri now gagged with rolled up scarves pulled between their lips.
“Ah, excellent,” Miss Player said as she looked over, “your mothers have come to watch you play Pass the Parcel – and I came with one ready prepared. Of course, I did not know it would be for a party, but…”
“Have a seat,” Jay indicated two couches, the older women moving over and sitting down on them as the music started, then stopped as the parcel was with Lesley-Anne. She nodded as one of the masked men removed one layer of brightly coloured paper, and then the music started again…
“We really don’t have a choice, do we,” Barbara said to the other three as they stood in the kitchen, preparing food for the children while they watched a film.
“No, we don’t,” Lesley said quietly, “But we should be grateful that that woman is with them.”
“She’s not the usual one – Mrs McPhee?”
“No,” Jean said as she placed some pizza slices in the oven, “but she does seem to be keeping them calm. Why are we so calm anyway?”
“I don’t know,” Dawn said quietly, “because I trust him?”
Lesley looked over at the masked men guarding them and nodded as she said “yeah – so Barbara, a proper birthday tea for Lesley-Anne?”
“Yeah – it’s rather overdue,” she said as she heard their muffled laughter, “whatever comes next…”
“So what are we going to do after this,” Heather asked as the seven children sat at the table.
“Well,” Miss Player said, “we start by singing happy birthday. Ready?”
Barbara could hear the signing downstairs, and smiled as she, Jean and Dawn stood in Lesley’s home office. Jay was at the computer with her, while two of his masked “associates” were guarding the other three women.
“Excellent,” Jay said quietly as the company website came up. “Now, enter your credentials, then allow each of your friends to do the same.”
Lesley nodded as she typed on the keyboard, and then stood up as Barbara sat down, and entered her access details. As she did this, one of the masked men took a length of white rope in his hands, waiting until she stood up before he took her wrists behind her back and tied them firmly together.
Jean and Dawn then took their places at the keyboard, before they also had their wrists secured behind their backs, then Lesley sat back down and looked at Jay.
“Put this in,” Jay said with a smile as he handed her a USB stick, “open it, and double click on ‘Run Me’” Lesley nodded as she did this, then watched as the program accessed the corporate accounts and started to transfer a number of small amounts.
A large number of small amounts.
“My god,” she whispered as the program ran its course, and then Jay removed the USB stick and pocketed it. “See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, please, put your hands behind your back and we will go and join the children.”
“What’s going to happen after that?”
Jay smiled as he pulled the rope around her wrists, and said “once they have eaten, we will secure them in the same way as you, and you can watch something together while Miss Player and I make some arrangements…”
“Hey Mum,” Lesley-Anne said as she saw Barbara and the other three come into the room, “this is an amazing tea. Thank you, Miss Player.”
“You’re welcome,” the masked woman said as Jay smiled at her, and said “now, Miss Player told you earlier you were all going to be the same way eventually – and now, it’s time to make you all the same way as your mothers. So, if you have finished, I want you all to lean forward and put your hands behind your back.”
“So we’re going to be like our mothers,” Heather said as she felt one of the masked men wrap soft rope round her wrists and secure them together behind their backs.
“Indeed – so when you are all ready, come into the front room where they will be waiting.”
As the boys and girls nodded, Jay and the masked men took their mothers into the front rooms, before Jay said “take a seat, each of you, where your children can sit next to you. Once they are seated, secure their ankles.”
When Heather and Fiona came in, they smiled as they saw their mother on the centre of a wide seat, white tape over her mouth and her ankles secured together. They jumped up onto the seat either side of her, watching as a masked man secured their ankles together with the rope, and then pressed white tape over their mouths.
Lesley-Anne came in next and sat on Barbara’s lap, resting her head on her mother’s chest as her ankles were secured, and then tape pressed over her mouth as Albert and Kerry sat with Jean, then Iain and Teri with Dawn.
Once they were all secured, Jay turned the television on, and indicated to Miss Player she should follow him out as they started to watch a program together.
“So how are you feeling,” Jay whispered as they stood outside.
“Very strange,” she whispered back, “I mean, it’s on a much larger scale than we normally do, but they are playing along, and their mothers seem happy. Your gift?”
“My gift – but we need to decide where they are going to spend the night. Come with me – we need to look round and see what we can do…”
“But surely we don’t have nightclothes here for the boys?”
“No – but I ordered some. They’re in the van…”
When they came back in, he noticed that Lesley-Anne’s eyes were dropping, so he said “I think it is time to make sure you are all safely secured for the night – and the birthday girl should go first. We’re going to release your legs, and then you can come with me and Miss Player.” Looking at the others, he said “we’ll bring them back down so you can see what is going to happen, before we make them comfortable for the night.”
Barbara and Lesley-Anne nodded as the masked man untied their ankles, and then they walked up the stairs with the two masked intruders. Outside the bathroom door, Jay untied their wrists and said “go in – you will find something to change into there, so do what you need to do and then come out.”
Barbara nodded as they walked in, and then she peeled the white tape gently away from her mouth and her daughter’s. She was surprised then as Lesley-Anne hugged her, tears flowing as she said “I’m glad we had today Mummy – I needed to get over Daddy going.”
“Well, I wish it hadn’t taken a robbery, but I’m glad you’re happy,” Barbara said as she hugged her daughter and kissed her hair. “Come on – let’s get washed and changed, and then we can face the night-time together.”
When they came out, both of them were wearing blue nightdresses, with elbow length sleeves and a lace collar. Miss Player smiled as she said “now, we need to make sure you really cannot move or speak, so I want you to hold these in your hands Lesley-Anne, and then your mother is going to cover your hands with this silver tape.
“Okay, Miss Player,” the young girl said as she made two fists, and watched as Barbara wrapped the tape round them to make two gloves. Miss Player then handed her a pair of white socks, Barbara pulling them up over her daughter’s hands before she used white tape to secure the tops to her arms.
“It feels nice,” Lesley-Anne said as Jay handed her mother two half sponges, and then turned her hands into white covered gloves as well. Barbara nodded before they both had their hands taken behind their backs, Miss Player securing Lesley-Anne’s wrists together as Jay took care of her mother.
“It’s not too bad – do you have to do this,” Barbara said as she saw the longer ropes going round her arms, and those of Lesley-Anne, before they were pulled into her sides and two bands made to secure them into place, framing their chests as the two masked robbers did this.
“Trust us – it is not uncomfortable, and it is important you cannot move,” Jay said as her daughter looked at her. “It’s all right Mummy, I’m going to be just like you,” she said as Miss Player tied the ropes off, and then used two smaller lengths to cinch the bands between her arms and body.
“Now, before we go back down, we need to make sure you are both really quiet,” Jay said with a smile, “so we start by asking you both to open your mouths, and we put these cloths in, then this strip of towelling.”
“Why have you tied a knot in the middle,” Barbara asked him.
“To make it even harder for you to talk -0 ready?”
Barbara and Lesley-Anne looked at each other, and then nodded as the cloths went into their mouths, then the knots between their lips as the strips were tied round their heads. They heard the soft peeling sound before white tape was wrapped tightly round their heads, and then silver tape over that, before a folded blue scarf was used as an overgag.
They looked at each other, before they walked back down the stairs, the others looking over as they came into the main room.
“Hghhhddhruhhllrht,” Lesley said as the others stared at them. As Barbara nodded, Teri looked at Lesley-Anne and said “whtthfthushdd?”
“Whthnnddshhh,” she mumbled back before they were escorted out of the room, and back into the room they had the party in. Jay and Miss Player helped them to sit on a long couch, both of them watching as the two masked intruders took more ropes and tied their ankles tightly together, then lifted the skirts of their nightdresses back as they secured their legs below their knees.
Barbara then watched as Jay tied a length of rope round the leg of the couch, and then between her ankles, before Miss Player helped Lesley-Anne to lie on her side, her head resting on her mother’s lap. She then walked over and turned the television in the room on, finding the Disney channel as both of them settled down.
“Watch them,” Jay said to one of the masked men, as the other two left. “Now – who’s next?”
“Let’s see what the situation is,” Miss Player said quietly as they walked back into the front room, the three families looking at them.
“Swwshshnhxhtt,” Dawn said as she wriggled in the seat.
“I think you just answered your own question,” Jay said with a smile as the masked men untied the ankles of Ian and Teri, the two of them looking at their mother before she and they were helped to stand up, and walked up the stairs with the two masked robbers. When they got to the top, Miss Player said “when you are changed, we will do a story where I take the children captive first, and then the mother, making sure you cannot raise the alarm. So, who wants to change first?”
Ian raised his head as Jay opened the door. “You can go in together – the clothes are in there – and then Ian comes out first,” he said with a smile as all three walked in, after their wrists were untied.
“So you’re going to play one of your ‘games’ with them,” Jay said quietly, Miss Player nodding as they heard the muffled talking in the bathroom. After a few minutes, Ian came out, wearing a pair of pink pyjamas with black trim. He looked at Jay, before Miss Player put her gloved hand over his mouth and said “I want you to be very quiet – we’re going to play a game of robbers with your sister and mother, all right?”
Ian nodded, surprised at how exciting he was finding this, as she said “hold your hands out, and then make a fist when my friend gives you something to hold.” He nodded, and when Jay put the half sponges in his hands he made fists with his hands, watching as they were covered with silver tape, then a pair of socks which he taped to his arms.
“That’s good – now, when I take my hand away, open your mouth.” He nodded and opened his mouth as the hand was removed, feeling the sponge ball expand in his mouth as he closed his lips over it, then felt the tape tugging on his skin as Jay pressed it firmly over his jaw.
As he tried to speak, Miss Player took him to the side and put her finger to his lips, as the bathroom door opened and Teri came out, wearing an identical pair of pyjamas. Ian watched as Miss Player hand gagged his sister, wondering why he felt so strange watching as her hands were turned into useless fists, and she was gagged as well.
Miss Player then stood with her gloved hands over the taped and stuffed mouths of both children, as their mother came out, also wearing pink pyjamas. She looked at them, and then said “Oh god – what’s going on” as she put her hands to her mouth.
“Hello,” Miss Player said, “I’m here to play the special game of hostages you arranged for you and your children. As you can see, they’ve already started, and they’re eager for you to play along, aren’t you?”
Both Ian and ~Teri nodded, Ian wondering what his mother was going to look like, as Jay said “hold your hands out” and turned Dawn’s hands into white covered fists. He then took a length of rope and crossed her wrists in front of her.
“Are you both having fun,” Dawn said as she looked at her children, while Jay took a length of rope and bound her wrists together in front of her, before he took the rope round her waist and locked them into place.
As Dawn twisted round, Miss Player said “it’s your turn now, so cross your wrists in front of yourself.” As they did this, she tied Teri’s wrists together and then tied the rope round her waist, while Jay did the same to Ian.
“Whhydhssthsfhllghd,” he mumbled as he looked at the masked man. Jay smiled at him, and said “It does, doesn’t it? So enjoy what is going to happen.” Ian nodded before he saw the longer length of rope in Jay’s hands, and then felt it on his arms as they were pulled against his body.
“Please, why do you have to do that,” Dawn said as she watched Miss Player bind Teri’s arms to her body as well, forming two bands that stretched her pyjama top over her chest.
“It is necessary,” Jay said as he tied the ropes off behind Ian’s back, and then used two shorter lengths to cinch the bands between his arms and body. He looked at Teri, and then at their mother as Jay bound her arms to her sides in the same way. As she saw her pyjama top stretch, he wondered why he had this growing strange feeling inside him.
“Very good,” Jay said after he had tied the ropes off on Dawn, “this way please.” He walked the bound trio to another bedroom, where there was a large bed with a metal frame at the foot of the bed.
“I want you to sit in the middle,” Jay said to Dawn, the mother nodding as she sat at the top of the bed, the children watching as Miss Player bound her ankles tightly together with rope, and then her legs above and below her knees, cinching each band between her legs as well.
He then watched as Teri sat on the left side of her mother, Dawn saying “we’re going to be together, and have fun together” as Miss Player started to bind his sister’s ankles and legs. Jay knelt next to Ian, and said quietly “I get the feeling something is happening to you that hasn’t happened before, right?”
Ian slowly nodded as she watched his mother talk to his sister, while the masked woman tied her legs. He was feeling strange, different, nice, and a little scared as well.
“What you’re feeling, what’s happening to you, it’s natural,” Jay said with a smile, “but I know it can feel a little embarrassing. Tomorrow, when you have a chance, talk to your mother and father about it, but for tonight, enjoy how it makes you feel – because you cannot do anything to stop it. All right?”
Ian nodded slowly as Jay smiled, and then walked him over to the bed, lifting him and sitting him on the other side of Dawn before he took more ropes and started to bind his legs. As he did this, Miss Player helped Teri to lie on her back, then tied a last length of rope between her ankles, before she used it to secure her ankles to the foot of the bed.
“Well, how do we keep entertained,” Dawn asked as she watched Jay take the rope between her son’s legs.
“We will turn the radio on, but trust me – I think you will all be asleep soon,” Jay said with a smile as he helped Ian to lie down, and then tied his ankles to the foot of the bed as well.
Dawn looked at Teri, who seemed to be smiling under the tape over her mouth, and then saw the compressed sponge in the gloved hand of the masked woman. She nodded and allowed herself to be gagged in the same way, before she wriggled down and watched Jay bind her ankles to the foot of the bed as well. She turned her head and kissed her children, before the radio went on, and a second masked man came in.
“Watch them,” Jay said as he and Miss Player left the room, all three wriggling round – Ian in particular looking at his mother and sister as their bodies moved in the ropes, and then feeling something else happening to him…
“Now then,” Jay said as he walked into the front room, the other two families looking at him as they wriggled round, “I think we go next with…”
“You,” Miss Player said as she looked at Jean and her children. The masked men obliged as they untied their legs and helped them to stand up, Miss Player escorting them out with him as Jay looked at Lesley.
Jay nodded as he peeled the tape away, Lesley smiling as she said “I want the girls and I to have a sleepover down here, if that is all right?”
“Do you object to your friend and her children using your bed?” As Lesley shook her head, he said “very well then – will you all remain quiet?”
As Fiona and Heather nodded, he peeled the tape away from their mouths and said “very well then – once we have them secured, we’ll get you all ready.”
“Where are the others?”
“I’ll let you see them when you both get changed,” Jay said with a smile, the girls nodding as Lesley kissed them both on the head.
“Thank you,” Heather said, “you’re actually a nice robber, Mr Edwards.”
“Compliments are always welcomed,” Jay said with a smile as they heard the talking upstairs…
“Wow – are we going to be like that,” Heather said as she looked in her mother’s bedroom, Fiona looking over her as well. Both girls had changed into their nightclothes – Fiona wearing a long pink t-shirt with darker pink hearts on it, Heather a t-shirt in the same style and shorts in the same darker shade of pink.
Jean and Kerry were wearing short sleeved pink nightdresses with thin white stripes, a picture of a penguin on the left breast, while Albert was wearing a top in the same style and grey shorts. Albert and Kerry were lying on their sides, their bound ankles pulled back and tied to the ropes holding their arms to their sides, a band of white tape round their heads. Jean was also tightly bound, with white tape round her head, but her wrists crossed and secured on her waist. They looked over and nodded as Miss Player said “not quite – but we will make sure you are tightly bound.”
The two girls nodded as they walked past and then looked in the other bedroom, seeing Dawn, Iain and Teri asleep on the bed, the kid’s heads on their mother’s chest.
“We can really sleep like that,” Fiona whispered as they walked down the stairs.
“Oh yes – and here is Lesley-Anne,” she said as they looked in the television room, seeing her with her mother asleep as they sat on the floor, their backs against the couch.
The girls nodded as they walked back into the room, Lesley standing next to Jay as she said “have you seen the others?”
“Yeah – they’re fine, but we really won’t be able to move Mum,” Fiona said, Lesley nodding as she went out with Jay, while Miss Player handed the girls two half sponges and said “make fist with these in your hands, and I’ll make sure you cannot use your hands.”
The girls watched as they made fists, while Miss Player covered their hands with silver tape, then pulled socks up over their arms and taped the sock tops to their arms with white tape.
“Well, we’re not going to be able to use them,” Heather giggled, Fiona nodding as Miss Player said “now, cross your wrists in front of yourselves.”
As they did this, the masked woman took lengths of cord and made sure their wrists were tightly secured together, then took the rope round their waists to further lock them in place.
As they wriggled round, Fiona saw Miss Player take a longer length of rope and pass it round Heather’s body, pulling it tight and forcing her arms to her sides as she took the rope around her in two bands.
“Is it all right, sis,” she said, Heather nodding as Miss Player took the ropes round again and then tied them off, before she took a second length of rope and did the same to Fiona, the older girl watching as the bands pressed the top of her long nightclothes into her body.
“There we go,” the masked woman said with a smile as she tied the ropes off. As she did this, Lesley came back in with Jay, her hands behind her back as she said “well, I see we’re really going to be just like the others.”
The girls nodded as they looked at their mother, who was wearing a pair of grey pyjamas with white cuffs and stars. She turned round to show her daughters the white socks taped to the sleeves of her top, and covering her fists.
“We’re all the same, Mummy,” Heather laughed as she jumped up and down, while Jay took a longer length of rope and started to bind Lesley’s arms to her sides. The girls saw the way her top was stretched between the two bands of rope, before Miss Player said “now girls, sit down on the floor in front of the couch, and stretch your legs out.”
As they did so, Lesley said “does it have to be so tight” to Jay as he pulled the bands together behind her back.
“We need to be sure you truly cannot get free,” he said quietly before he helped her to sit on the couch between the girls, Miss Player binding Fiona’s ankles tightly together as he did the same to Lesley.
Soon both girls had their legs secured at their ankles and below their knees, as Jay tied their mother’s legs together as well, and then said “it’s time to be quiet. Who wants to be first?”
“I will,” Lesley said as she smiled at the girls. “We can watch a film together, and we can talk about all this tomorrow, all right?”
The girls nodded as they watched Jay gently push a compressed sponge into their mother’s mouth, and then wind the white tape tightly round her head, the shape of her lips visible as they were covered to keep the sponge in place. Miss Player then compressed a sponge as Fiona opened her mouth, feeling it press her tongue down as it expanded in her mouth before she closed her lips over it. Heather giggled at the soft peeling sound while the masked woman wound the tape tightly round her sister’s head to complete the gag, and then allowed herself to be silenced in the same way.
As the three captives settled down, Jay turned on the television and found a family film channel, the masked intruders watching as the family watched, their eyes slowly closing...
Lesley-Anne opened her eyes slowly and looked round. She wondered what had happened when she saw she was on her side, the television showing an infomercial, and why she felt so stiff and strange – and then she looked up to see her mother asleep, her head to the side and her mouth covered, and saw the ropes around her upper body.
“Hyshhhh” she mumbled quietly as she sat herself up and saw the bands of rope around her own body, remembering the previous day. Somehow, she was relaxed, happy, but she was curious as to where the others were.
Slowly, she managed to stand up, and then made her way out of the room, taking small steps and then small jumps as her mother wrinkled her nose. Slowly, carefully, she made her way into the main room – surprised to see Lesley lying on her side, fully bound and with a band of white tape round her mouth, while Fiona and Heather were sat on the floor, their heads together.
Fiona slowly opened her eyes and looked at her friend, before she said “Whrrhrth?”
“Dhtnknhhh – shlhhpwhl?”
Fiona slowly nodded before they heard the front door opening and closing, before they heard a male voice say “hey – I’m home.”
They both looked to the door as Graham Tannadice looked in, his eyes widening as he said “what the…”
“Hey,” Mark Williamson said as he saw the front door open from the kitchen, Yvonne coming in with Charlie and Lisa, “good weekend away?”
“Yeah, Dad,” Charlie said as he hung his coat up, “but we have homework to finish.” As he and Lisa ran upstairs, Yvonne came in and kissed her husband on the cheek.
“So what did you get up to this weekend?”
“Oh, one or two things?”
“One or two things?” Yvonne looked at the paper on the kitchen table, describing the police investigation into the latest robbery by Jay Edwards.
“Yeah, well, Brian asked if I would do him a favour. I called in a few more – and you were busy, after all.”
“True – so who did you get?”
“Someone who likes to play games…”