The Jay Edwards Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maisie, do you have a minute?”

 

Karen Monroe called up the stairs to her oldest daughter, while Sharon and Bobbie were putting on their coats behind her.  She watched as Maisie came down, saying “Yes, Mum?”

 

Maisie was fourteen years old, and was wearing a long sleeved top with black and white horizontal stripes, long white sleeves and a white roll neck collar.  She had a pair of faded jeans on, and a pair of black lace up ankle boots.

 

“I need to take the girls into town to do a little shopping – if your dad calls, tell him to call home before he leaves work.  Do you need anything while we’re out?”

 

“Can you pick up a fresh bottle of shampoo for me,” she said as she ran her hands through her long ash blonde hair.

 

“All right then,” her mother said as she pulled on her black leather jacket, “we’ll see you after lunchtime, all right?”

 

“See you all later,” Maisie said as she watched them go out of the front door, and then went back upstairs, determined to knock the stuffing out of the history essay she was writing.  Looking at her bedside clock, she saw it was nine thirty, as she picked up her pen and got to writing.

 

The next time she looked at her clock, it was eleven and she had written six pages of the essay.  “Time for a break,” she said to herself as she put her pen down, stood up and stretched, and made her way down the stairs, her thoughts on the can of Coke that was in the fridge.

 

As she opened the door and out her hand on the can, she heard the front door bell ring.  “Great,” she said as she looked round and saw the shadows on the other side of the glass door, “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” 

 

Closing the fridge door, she put the can down on the work surface and went towards the door, rehearsing the usual speech in her mind.  Putting her hand on the door, she opened it and said “Yes, can I…”

 

She didn’t get a chance to say another word, as she saw the four masked people standing in the doorway.  All of them were wearing boiler suits, and had balaclavas covering their heads so that she could only see their eyes and mouths.   Two of them had guns in their hands as the third man pushed her back into the house, putting his fingers to his lips as he held her against the wall.

 

The most stunning thing was the fourth person who walked in, carrying a large canvas holdall – she could tell it was a woman, despite her dress being the same as the other three.

 

“Good morning Maisie,” the man holding her said in a Geordie accent, “I take it no-one else is home at the moment?”

 

“No,” Maisie said quietly, “and how do you know my name?”

 

“OH we know a great deal about you,” the man said as he reached into his pocket, and drew out a length of rope in his gloved hand.  “Now, be a good girl and turn round, then put your hands behind your back.”

 

“Oh god,” Maisie said, “please…”

 

“Don’t worry Maisie – we’re not going to hurt you,” the Geordie man said “but we need to make sure you cannot warn your mother or your sisters we are here, so please, do as we say.”

 

“All right,” Maisie said as she turned round, and allowed the man to tie her wrists together behind her back, feeling the rope as it was pulled tightly over the cuffs of her top.  “Thank you,” he said as he tied the last knot off, “now, why don’t we make you comfortable in the front room?”

 

 

It was nearly one by the time Karen pulled up into the driveway of her house, passing the grey transit van that was parked just before the entrance off the main road.  As she turned off the engine, she said over her shoulder “All right you two – you can watch television for a little while, and then you need to get your homework done.”

 

“Yes Mum,” Sharon and Bobbie said as they unclipped their seatbelts and went into the house, Karen walking to the rear of the car and opening the boot.  She retrieved the bags and closed the boot, locking the car as she walked in, the heels of her knee length black leather boots crunching the gravel as she went in.  Pushing the door closed as she came in, she put the bags down in the hallway and said “Maisie, are you still upstairs?”

 

There was no reply, and the only sound she could hear was the television in the front room.  Shrugging her shoulders, she walked into the front room – and stopped still, her hands to her mouth as she saw the scene before her.

 

Her youngest daughter, Bobbie, was standing in front of a woman wearing a blue boiler suit and a black balaclava covering her head.  Her eyes were wide open as she looked at her mother over the black leather gloved hand that covered her mouth.

 

Sharon was also standing in front of someone, a man this time, who had his gloved hand over her mouth as he held the eleven year old by the shoulder.  As for Maisie, she was lying on her side on the couch, her arms pulled behind her back and her ankles tied together with rope.  A knotted scarf had been pulled between her lips, as she mumbled “msrreemmm

 

“Hello Karen,” a Geordie male voice said from behind her, “I’m afraid we’re going to be staying a little while, so the cooperation of you and your charming daughters is appreciated.”

 

She turned slowly to see a fourth man behind her, smiling as he pointed a gun at her.  “Who… Who are you?” she finally stammered.

 

“My name is Jay Edwards.”

 

“OH god,” Karen whispered quietly, “please…”

 

“Stay calm, Karen,” Jay said as he walked in, “we won’t hurt you, but we are holding you hostage, as well as your family.  It may be best if you explained that to them now, but first kindly draw the curtains in here.”

 

Mmmmwhtshhpongn,” Sharon mumbled under the gloved hand as she watched her mother walk over and pull the curtains closed over the large bay windows.  “Sharon, Bobbie,” she said as she came back over, “these people are going to be staying a while.  I need you – all of you,” she said as she looked at Maisie, “to be very brave girls, and do whatever they tell you to do, all right?”

 

The three girls looked at their mother, then at each other, before they all nodded in agreement.  “Good,” Jay Edwards said with a smile, “Mrs McPhee, if you will look after young Bobbie, and Jack you look after Sharon, I will take care of their mother.  Please, Sharon, remove your jacket and place it on the chair over there, and then put your hands behind your back.

 

“All right Bobbie,” the woman said as she looked down at the nine year old, “if I take my hand away, will you promise not to scream or shout out?”

 

Bobbie nodded, and then gasped as the masked woman took her hand away.  “All right,” she said in her soft Scottish accent, “hop onto the seat there for me, will you?”

 

“Are you bad people,” she said as she sat down and shuffled back, her lower legs hanging over the edge of the seat.

 

“Well, I guess we are, but I promise you do as we say, and we won’t hurt you.  I like your top.”

 

“Thanks,” Bobbie said despite her fear.  The young girl was wearing a blue smock dress with a floral pattern printed on it, and horizontal multicoloured stripes on the top and long arms.  She had a pair of blue leggings on under the dress, and a pair of brown suede boots that came to just below her knees.

 

“Are you going to do the same to me as the others,” she said as she watched Sharon and Karen having their arms taken behind their backs.

 

“Not quite the same, but I am going to stop you moving your arms and legs,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile.  “Now, put your hands together in front of you, as if you were praying at school.”

 

“Like this,” Bobbie said as she put her hands together, palm to palm, in front of her.

 

“That’s right,” Mrs McPhee said as she showed Bobbie a length of rope, and then wrapped it round her wrists, pulling them together as she wrapped it around and between her arms, and then tying the ends off out of reach of her fingers.  “Now, does that feel scary?”

 

“No – it feels funny,” Bobbie said as she twisted her arms round, “but it’s more snug than scary.”

 

“Good – now, I’m going to do the same thing to your ankles, so sit still.  You’ll feel the boots gripping your legs a little more tightly, but that’s all,” Mrs McPhee said as she tied Bobbie’s ankles tightly together, Bobbie watching as she saw the boots being forced around her ankles.

 

While this was going on, Karen felt her own wrists being crossed and tied behind her back by Jay Edwards, while watching the same thing happen to Sharon.  Her middle daughter was wearing a white round necked top, the sleeves coming to just below her elbows, and a set of beads on strings around her neck.   She was also wearing a yellow tiered and pleated skirt, with white lace trim on each tier, and a pair of short brown felt boots.

 

“Why do you have to do this to us,” she said as Jay Edwards tied some rope around her waist, forcing her secured wrists against her back as she watched him tie it in place.

 

“Our business is with your husband, Karen,” Jay Edwards replied as he tied the rope off between her arms and back, and she saw the same thing happen to Sharon.  “Your role is to ensure he does what we want him to do.”

 

She looked over at Bobbie, who was watching Mrs McPhee as she tied a length of rope around her legs below her knees.  “Are you all right, darling,” she said as she watched the masked woman tie the rope between her daughter’s legs, and then tie her wrists down to it as well.

 

“I’m fine mum – she’s not hurting me,” Bobbie replied as Mrs McPhee took a longer length of rope, and said “I need to tie your arms to your sides now Bobbie, so shuffle forward for me.”

As her youngest daughter shuffled forward on the seat, Karen realised her own arms were being pulled into her sides, as Jay Edwards wound rope around her upper body, above and below her chest, pulling her own light blue jumper tighter over her chest.  The fourth masked intruder had helped Maisie to sit up at one end of the couch now, and was tying rope around her upper body in the same way, as was the man with Sharon.  She was trying hard not to cry as the man helped her to sit at the opposite end of the couch from Maisie, while Karen sat in the other armchair.

 

“You’re doing very well,” Jay said as he knelt to the side of Karen, and crossed her ankles before starting to tie them together, the rope squeaking as it rubbed against the black leather of her knee length boots.  “In fact, you all are.”

 

“We don’t want to be hurt,” Sharon sobbed as she watched her own ankles being tied together.

 

“Well, do as we say and you won’t,” Jay said as he passed the rope between Karen’s legs, tightening the ropes before he tied the ends off behind her legs.  “We haven’t hurt you, have we Maisie?”

 

The fourteen year old shook her head as she watched the legs of her mother and younger sister being tied below their knees, and then the two masked men standing up.  She knew what was coming, but stayed silent.

 

“We really can’t move, can we,” Bobbie said as she looked at Mrs McPhee.

 

“No, and that’s the idea, but I’m afraid we need to make it a bit difficult for you all to talk as well,” she said as she produced a blue silk scarf and rolled it into a band.  “Open wide and I’ll put this into your mouth and tie it round your head.”

 

“What will we do to pass the time?”

 

“I’ll put a DVD on for you to watch – want to pick one?”

 

“Can we watch Despicable Me?”

 

“Yes of course we can darling,” Karen said as she tied to move her legs, the crimson dyed corduroy of her trousers squeaking as they rubbed against each other.

 

“Thanks Mum,” Bobbie said before she opened her mouth, closing her teeth and lips over the blue band as Mrs McPhee tied it round her head, trapping her long curly brown hair underneath.

 

Sharon allowed the masked man to pull a knotted scarf into her mouth, the green band holding her long brown hair against her head, while Karen had a similar gag, her one made from a larger brown scarf that pulled back on the corners of her mouth.

 

“All right then,” Jay said as Mrs McPhee looked in a cabinet, and found the DVD as he turned the player on, “here we go…”

 

The clock on the wall showed the time as just before four as the film ended.  Bobbie and Sharon had laughed during the film, their muffled cackles making both Maisie and Karen relax a little more.  They had realised fairly quickly there was no way they were getting free, especially with the one he had called Mrs McPhee and another of the masked men sitting with them.  Jay himself and the other man had taken all the mobile phones and removed the batteries, before sitting at the dining table at the back of the long room and talking in low whispers.

 

“All right,” Mrs McPhee said as the other two re-joined them, “I imagine you would all like a drink?”

 

The four captives looked at each other and nodded, before Bobbie said “Ceengttlt?”

 

“I’m sorry Bobbie, what did you say,” Jay asked as he removed the scarf from her mouth, the damp patch visible in the middle.

 

“Can I go to the toilet, please,” she said as she looked at him.

 

“Of course – Mrs McPhee will take you,” he said as he untied the young girl, the masked woman taking her hand as they walked to the downstairs toilet.  “Does anyone else need a toilet break?”

 

The other three looked at each other and nodded as they heard the toilet flush, and saw Bobbie come back in.

 

“All right then – one at a time, Mrs McPhee,” he said quietly, as each one of them was untied, their gag removed and a short trip to the toilet allowed.  As Karen left, Jay said “Take Karen to the kitchen to sort some drinks out and bring them through, will you Mrs McPhee?”

 

“Of course,” the woman said as she took Karen to the toilet, the three girls now sitting side by side on the couch as Jay looked at them.

 

“It’s all right to be a little bit scared,” he said as he saw Maisie and Sharon rubbing their wrists.  “I know this can seem like a terrifying thing, but we’ll try and make it as much fun as possible.  Did you enjoy watching the film?”

 

“They sounded funny laughing along with it, that’s true,” Maisie said, which made the other two giggle.   “But did you have to tie us up and gag us?”

 

“Well, I’m afraid we did,” Jay said as he nodded, “and I need to tell you now, it will not be the last time.  But was it really that scary?”

 

“It was at first,” Sharon said, “but once I realised all you were doing was making sure we stayed in one place, I relaxed and it wasn’t so bad.”

 

“Well, that is the point,” Jay said, “so later, when we do it again, you know we’re not going to let you come to any harm.  Think of it as an adventure to tell your friends about.”

 

“But why?”

 

“Why, Bobbie?  Well, we need your daddy to do something for us, and I’m afraid the way we do that is to make sure you and your mummy stay with us until he does it.  Don’t worry, we won’t hurt him either, but I’m afraid it’s what we do.”

 

He watched as the youngest girl nodded, and then watched as her mother and Mrs McPhee brought in some glasses of squash and some biscuits.

 

“There we go,” she said as she handed the glasses out, “take your time drinking them, girls.  It’ll be a while before you get to go to the toilet again.”

 

“So what happens now,” Karen said as she sat down.

 

“When do you expect your husband to call?”

 

Before Karen could answer, the front doorbell rang.  “Whoever it is, get rid of them,” Jay whispered as his three companions hand gagged the three girls, Karen standing up and walking to the door.  They listened for a few minutes, the girls looking at each other, before Karen closed the door and came back in, carrying a brown parcel.

 

“Amazon delivery,” she said as she put it down, and the gloved hands were removed.  “Sorry about that girls, but better safe than sorry,” Jay said as they started to drink again.

 

“He’ll call before he comes back,” Karen said as she sat back down. 

 

“Good – well, when he comes in, is he expecting dinner to be ready for him?”

 

Karen nodded as she looked at the girls.  why?”

 

“You’ll see, Karen, you’ll see…”

 

 

It was half past six as Duncan Monroe walked up the garden path, and let himself in the front door, hearing the sound of the television and smiling to himself.

 

“Karen, kids, I’m home,” he said as he put down his briefcase, and took off his jacket, hanging it on the coat rack next to Karen’s leather jacket.  “So how has your day be…”

 

“Good evening, Duncan,” he heard Jay say from behind him as he stared at the dining table, “you’re just in time for dinner.”

 

Bobbie, Sharon and Maisie looked over and said “Hllddd” through the strips of silver tape that covered their mouths.  They were each seated in a dining chair, their arms through the gaps in the chair back and their wrists held together with a plastic zip tie.  Duncan could see that their legs were tied to the front legs of the chair with ropes around their ankles and knees, while a length of rope held them to the chair around their stomach.

 

“Your family is quite safe, Duncan.  You just need to cooperate as they have all day.  You understand that don’t you?”

 

“Who are you?”

 

“My name is Jay Edwards – perhaps you have heard of me?”

 

Duncan nodded – he had heard of him and his gang, as he said “Where’s Karen?”

 

Nhrrr.”

 

“Shall we,” Jay said as he took Duncan’s arm and walked him past his three daughters, the other two masked and armed men watching over them, and then into the kitchen, where Mrs McPhee was helping Karen.  She turned and tried to smile at her husband, despite the silver tape covering her mouth making it very difficult.

 

“Are you all alright,” he said, relaxing a little as Karen nodded.

 

“Why don’t you take a seat at the table,” Jay said as he took Duncan back in, “and you can have your dinner together as a family tonight.”

 

Duncan slowly nodded as he sat down, saying “Long day” to the three girls as he removed his tie.  They all nodded as they wriggled a little in the chair, watching as the food was brought in, and their mother allowed to sit down.

 

Their hands were then cut free, as Jay said “You may remove the tape.  I advise you to do it quickly – it will hurt less.”  Duncan watched as they all peeled the silver tape away from their mouths, handing the strips to one of the masked men before they said “Hello Dad.”

 

“If you had harmed them…”

 

“Duncan, Duncan, Duncan – if you have heard of us, you know we don’t harm the families we visit.  All you have to do is do exactly what we say, and they will be just fine.”

 

“And what is it you want?”

 

“We’ll discuss that later – would you like some mashed potato?”

 

It was possibly the most bizarre dinner time the Monroe family had ever had – with four masked and uninvited guests, they talked about homework, music and other things, while eating the meal prepared by Mrs McPhee and Karen.

 

Eventually, however, one of the other two masked men cleared the plates away with Karen while Mrs McPhee untied and escorted the three girls back into the front room with the final intruder.

 

“Now, Duncan,” Jay Edwards said as he looked across the table at the man, “we need you to accompany one of my friends back to your offices, and there extract certain information from your files.  We know what we are looking for, so there will be no attempts to obfuscate our goal.  At all times, I am a phone call away, and any attempt to stop us or to call the police will not mean good times for your charming wife and daughters.  I trust I make myself perfectly clear.”

 

Duncan nodded slowly as he looked over at the three girls, who were sitting around a low table as Mrs McPhee set out a Monopoly board.  “You promise they will not be harmed if I do what you ask?”

 

“You have my word of honour.  We will make them comfortable in their beds, and make sure they cannot raise the alarm, but that is all.”

 

all right then,” Duncan said as he looked at the masked gang leader.  “When do we go?”

 

“Later – we have time for coffee and to watch the game,” Jay said as he stood up.  “Put your hands behind your back, please – a necessary precaution.”

 

 Duncan watched as Mrs McPhee tied Bobbie’s wrists together in front of her, the others waiting their turn, before he nodded and allowed Jay to bind his own wrists behind his back.

 

Karen was eventually brought in, her wrists tied together in front of her as well, and sat down to play the game with the girls as Duncan looked on.  If it had not been for the ropes around their wrists, it would have been perfectly normal.

 

Eventually, however, Jay said “It’s time – I’m afraid your father has to step out for a few hours, but you will see him again in the morning.  Jack, will you come with us please?”

 

He helped Duncan to stand up as one of the masked men followed the two of them out, Karen watching before she said “Daddy’s going to be all right, Girls – let’s continue playing the game.”

 

They all nodded as they heard their father talking quietly, before he looked in, wearing his jacket as he said “Be good, girls, and I’ll see you all in the morning.”

 

“See you, Dad,” Maisie said as she watched the man that had been called Jack take her father’s arm and walk him out of the house.  They listened to the car moving off, before Karen said “My turn,” picked up the dice in her hands and threw them onto the board.

 

 

Eventually, Jay and Mrs McPhee looked at each other, and then at the clock.  “All right,” Jay said, “we need to get you all ready for bed.  Mrs McPhee, would you please take Bobbie upstairs with you to get washed, brush her teeth, and make sure Bobbie is ready for bed?”

 

“Of course,” Mrs McPhee said as Bobbie stood up.  “Come with me dear.”

 

“What are you going to do to us when we go to bed,” Maisie said as she looked at Jay.

 

“Make sure you are comfortable, and cannot raise the alarm.  So long as you stay calm and don’t struggle, you will be just fine, I promise you,” Jay said with a smile as they sat there, looking at each other.

 

A few minutes later, Bobbie came back with Mrs McPhee, wearing a pair of pink and purple pyjamas with a rose motif that had gold edges on the clothes and flower.  Karen saw that she also had a pair of white sports socks pulled over her fists, and taped to the sleeves of her tape with silver duct tape.

 

“Your turn, Sharon,” Jay said as Mrs McPhee took the eleven year old by the arm and walked her up the stairs.

 

“What did they do to your hands,” Maisie said as she looked at her youngest sister.

 

“She gave me a couple of sponges to hold, then used the silver tape to make fists,” Bobbie said as she waved her hands around.  “The socks went over that, and she taped them to my top.  Don’t know why though.”

 

“I think I can guess,” Karen said as she looked at Jay, who said nothing.  A few minutes later, Sharon returned, now wearing a short sleeved purple nightshirt that came down over her knees.  The nightshirt had a picture of Snoopy holding a phone, and “NO WAY” written across her right chest.  She also had a pair of socks on her hands, the top taped to her arms just below her elbows.

 

Maisie was next, changing into a pair of pyjamas with a light pink long sleeved top that had a darker pink dog at her chest.  Her bottoms were that darker shade of pink, with lighter animal prints on it – but her hands were also covered with the socks.

 

“Please take Karen upstairs with you,” Jay said to Mrs McPhee, “and then bring her down here.  Why don’t you,” he then said to the other masked man, “go and get three glasses of milk, and three straws, and bring them in here.”

 

“What’s that for,” Maisie said as she held her hands up.

 

“Bedtime drink,” Jay said with a smile, “but you won’t be able to hold the glass, so you need the straws.”

 

 

 

As Karen came back down, she saw the three girls leaning forward, drinking milk from glasses through the straws, and had to laugh at the sight.  She was wearing a brown silk nightdress, held up by thin straps over her shoulders and with a white lace trim at her bust, but she also had her hands rendered useless by the combination of sponges, tape and socks.  The one difference is she had a pair of long brown socks over her hands.

 

“So what happens now,” she said as she looked at the three girls.

 

“We allow the girls to finish their drinks,” Mrs McPhee said, “and then we all go upstairs together.  Bobbie, you and Sharon are going to share a bed tonight, so that I can keep an eye on both of you, and Maisie will be in her own room.  Mummy will go to her own bed as well, all right?”

 

The three girls nodded as Jay picked up the canvas bag, waiting until all three had finished before he said “all right – let’s all go upstairs.”

 

He allowed Mrs McPhee to climb the stairs with Bobbie, the others following before him and the third man, and they all walked into Sharon’s room.  She had a large double bed, and looked at Jay as he closed the door.

 

“Right. Bobbie,” Mrs McPhee said, “can you sit on the bed for me, and put your arms by your side?”

 

“The rest of you,” Jay said as Bobbie jumped onto the bed, “put your hands behind your back.”

 

“Stay calm, girls,” Karen said as she felt the rope encircling her crossed wrist and pulling them together, watching Mrs McPhee as she wrapped some rope around Bobbie’s arms and upper body, fixing her arms to her side as she did so by winding it around her arms and her stomach.

 

“There we go,” Mrs McPhee said as the other three felt the rope around their waists, holding their wrists firmly against their backs.  why don’t you lie down, Bobbie, make yourself comfortable, and then I’m going to cross your wrists on your tummy and tie them together.”

 

“All right,” Bobbie sais as she did that, resting her head on a pillow as her wrists were crossed and tied together in front of her.

 

Maisie, Karen, will you please stand against the wall?”  As the mother and oldest daughter moved back, they watched Jay as he doubled over a long length of rope, and started to bind Sharon’s arms tightly to her side, taking the rope over her stomach and across her shoulders.  At the same time, Mrs McPhee tied Bobbie’s legs together below her knees, and then a length of rope from her wrists to hat band, before she secured her ankles together.

 

“Scared,” she said to Bobbie as Sharon felt the rope tighten over her body, forcing her arms into her sides.  “Sit down,” she heard Jay say as she walked over to the bed and sat down, watching as he knelt down and started to bind her ankles together.

 

“Now, Bobbie,” Mrs McPhee said, “I’m afraid we really need to make sure you cannot make any noise during the night, so I’m going to put a folded hankie in your mouth, and then put some special tape over it.  It will stop you talking, but so long as you don’t struggle, and breath through your nose, you’ll be fine.  That’s the other reason you’ll share with Sharon tonight – to keep an eye on each other, all right?”

 

“All right,” Bobbie said as she looked up at the masked woman.  “Will it hurt?”

 

“You may feel a little tugging around your mouth, but it’s only a nuisance,” Mrs McPhee said as she held the folded cloth in her gloved hand.  “Ready?”

 

As Kay tied Sharon’s legs together below her knees, Mrs McPhee pushed the cloth into Bobbie’s mouth, waiting as she closed her lips over it before she smoothed a length of white tape from cheek to cheek, the tape sticking to her face as the outline of her lips appeared under it.

 

“You as well, Sharon,” Jay said as he took a clean hankie from the bag, “but we’re going to wrap the tape around your head, to make it a little more secure.  It won’t damage your hair, all right?”

 

Sharon nodded as she allowed the cloth to go in, and then Jay wrapped the tape around her head, making a funny squelching noise as it stuck to her skin.  Tearing it loose and smoothing it down, he helped Sharon to lie down next to her younger sister, Sharon one her side as she looked at Mrs McPhee.

 

“Now, let’s find a story to read,” she said as Jay and the other man took Maisie and Karen out of the room, going into Maisie’s bedroom.

 

“Right then,” Jay said as he took more rope out, “your turn young lady.”   Karen watched as her older daughter was tightly bound, the rope sitting above and below her chest before he tied two shorter lengths under her arms to make it tighter still.

 

Sitting on her bed, she watched as her ankles and legs were secured, and then allowed Jay to push a folded cloth in – but this one was a folded silk scarf from her mother’s cupboard.  She closed her mouth, expecting the tape, but was surprised when Jay looked in her wardrobe, took out one of her red and black school ties and tied a knot in the middle of it, and pulled that knot into her mouth as well, tying the tie around her head before then wrapping the tape around her head.

 

Laying her on her side, Jay then pulled her legs back so her feet were parallel to her body, and tied her ankles to the ropes around her chest, before saying to the other intruder “Watch her,” as he took Karen into her bedroom.

 

“So it’s my turn now,” she said as he started to pull her arms into her sides with more rope, watching it as it forced her chest up and out.  what happens next?”

 

“You relax, and the chances are after today you’re going to sleep,” Jay said as he carefully fed the rope under one arm, pulling it up as he took it round the back of her neck and down under the other arm, tying it off behind her as she moved round.  “Your husband does what he’s told to, we leave here, and you will be freed eventually – but we need to be sure we can make our escape.”

 

“I can understand that, even if I don’t like the fact we’re been held hostage in our own home,” Karen said as she sat on the bed, swinging her legs up and placing her feet flat on the cover as she watched him binding her ankles and legs together.  “I should say thank you, for making it less scary.”

 

“I know it’s scared all of you,” Jay said as he passed the rope between her legs and tied it off, “but hopefully not too scary.  Mrs McPhee will stay with Bobbie and Sharon until they sleep, and we’ll check on you regularly before we leave.”

 

“So I guess I get to stop talking now?”

 

“You do,” Jay said as he walked to a cupboard and took out a blue silk square as well as red and gold headscarf.  Rolling the latter into a band and tying a knot in the middle, he said “Open wide please – and thank you.”

 

Karen nodded as she was gagged, the tape going around her head as well to cover the knotted band, and then she lay down, her head resting on the pillow as he gently pulled her ankles back and tied them to her chest ropes.

 

She could already feel her eyes closing, the adrenaline of the day wearing off as she succumbed to exhaustion, the last thing she saw Jay Edwards as he stood in the doorway….

 

 

“Karen!  Oh god, are you all right?”

 

Karen opened her eyes to see Duncan and a police officer standing there.

 

“Don’t move darling,” her husband said as she felt a cold scissor blade at the side of her head, and then the tape been cutaway, revealing the soaked gag in her mouth.  As it was loosened and eased out, she pushed out the second scarf with her tongue and said “the girls…”

 

“They’re been freed now,” Duncan said as Karen felt the ropes loosening, “I’m so sorry you went through this.”

 

“It’s all right – we didn’t have a choice,” she said as she stretched her legs out, and felt Duncan’s embrace as he helped her to sit up.

 

“Hi mum,” Bobbie said as she looked in, “I slept all night, did you?”

 

“Yes,” Karen said with a smile, “yes I did.  You girls go downstairs, Daddy and I will be down in a minute.”  A little tear appeared in her eye as she said “The gang?”

 

“Melted into the night – all of them.”

 

Karen nodded – at least they had got through the night in one piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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