Lock-In Tales – Half Term









“This is a different game, Mum,” Linda said as she sat with her back to her younger brother Billy.  The eleven year old girl was wearing a summer dress with peasant style capped sleeves, white at the top, then orange at her waist and purple at the bottom of the skirt.  Bobby was ten, and was wearing a grey t-shirt with a pair of camouflage shorts – both kids having taking their shoes off as they sat with their legs crossed.


“I know – but it’s going to be fun,” her mother said with a smile as she used the end of the long coil of white rope to bind Linda’s wrists tightly together in front of her.  She still had on the brown leather jacket she was wearing when they had come in, over her white dress, the black tights visible between the ham of her skirt and the top of the brown leather boots.


She smiled as she tied the ropes off between her daughter’s wrists, and then kissed her forehead before she started to wind the rope round her and Billy, holding them both together as she talked to them, explaining that when she had finished, she would give a signal for when they could start to try and get free.  Both the children accepted this, as they were held together before she used the other end of the rope to tie Billy’s wrists together.


“You’re both all right?”  As they nodded, she smiled and said “one more thing – I’m going to ask you both to open your mouths, and then tie a rolled up scarf between your lips.  It makes it more exciting fi you can’t talk clearly to each other.”


They both looked at her, then nodded as she rolled up a white silk scarf, waited for Linda to open her mouth, and then put the scarf between her lips before she tied it round her head.  Bobby was soon gagged in the same way, both of them laughing as they tried to talk to each other.


“Now, you wait there,” she said as she rubbed them both on the head, “and I’ll come and give you the signal in a few minutes.”


They both nodded as she walked out of the room, the look on her face changing as she was taken by the arm…




Half an hour later, both Linda and Bobby looked to the door as their mother jumped in.  She had taken her jacket off, but she also had her wrists tied together in front of her, the rope then wound round her own arms and body.  She also had rope wound down her legs, from her knees to her ankles, and a rolled up white scarf was tied between her lips as well.




“Hllrhttt – shtrttrhhnthhschp…”




“Are you sure you’re going to be all right?”


The seven year old girl nodded as she sat on the wooden floor, wearing a Hello Kitty pale blue t-shirt and shorts.  Her arms were going behind her back, a thin black strip holding them together, while a second strip held her bare ankles together.  A strip of white tape covered her lips, as she looked at her five year old brother.


He had blonde hair, like his sister, and was wearing a white long sleeved sleep suit.  He watched the man as he unwound a length of striped rope, and then passed it round his arms and upper body, gently pulling it tight and holding his arms against his sides.  He then wound the rope round his wrists, before he picked him up and carried him over to the bed.


His grandmother was already lying on the bed, wearing a black V-necked sweater with a grey and black tiered skirt, and black fabric boots.  She asked him if he was all right, and as he nodded the man wound the rope down around his legs and ankles, before tying it off.


His grandmother was lying on her side, and she looked at her as she smiled back.  She also had a length of rope wound tightly round her body, holding her arms to her sides, her wrists together, and her legs before it went round her ankles.  She wriggled round as he copied her, the man leaning over and kissing her forehead before he went to one side.


Picking up the roll of white tape, he said he was going to put some of the tape over their mouths as well, so that they would be as quiet as the girl.  His grandmother nodded, and said it would be all right as he tore a length of the tape off and smoothed it over her lips.


The boy nodded and looked up as the tape was pressed over his mouth, before the man went over and checked on his sister.  As he did this, his grandmother shuffled closer and then pressed her tape covered lips on his forehead.


He knew he was going to be all right, as would the others.  After all, his grandfather played this game with all of them when they stayed for the weekend, and as he left he knew they would have a lovely breakfast in a little while…




“There now – does your mother look as if she is scared?”


Dita, Michelle and Pete looked at their mother as she sat on the dining chair, her wrists taped to the side of the chair back with the white tape, and a band of tape round her waist and arms.  The white contrasted with the grey dress with white polka dots, the ends of the scarf held to her under the band of tape.


Her ankles were also taped to the front legs of the chair, the white band over the brown leather of her boots.  She looked at her children and shook her head, her lips moving under the tape over her mouth as she said “Hmmhltrhht – dwhhtthshs.”


The man looked at the three children, the black face mask covering his nose and mouth.  Dita was six years old, and wearing a white t-shirt with Hello Kitty on the front, and a blue lace skirt.  Michelle was eleven, and wearing the same style of skirt as her sister, her white t-shirt with a design on the front and striped short sleeves.  Ten year old Pete was also wearing a white t-shirt, in his case with a cartoon on the front, and blue jeans.  The man, and his friend, had surprised them all by walking in, one of them watching them as the second taped their mother to the chair and gagged her.


He had gone upstairs, as the masked man held up the roll of white tape, and said “it’s your turn – all of you, put your hands together in front of you.” 


“We’ll do what you say,” Michelle said, watching as he tore the end of the roll free and then used it to secure Dita’s wrists together in front of her.  It was her turn next, and as he wound the tape round her wrists she noticed it didn’t hurt too much – in fact, it was a little exciting.  She then watched as Pete had his wrists taped together, before the man tore a length of tape from the roll and said to Dita “put your lips together.”


It felt strange to see her sister silenced like that, and then she felt the tape over her own mouth, sticking firmly and making it impossible for her to say anything.  As Pete was silenced in the same way, she looked at her mother, who nodded as all three of them smiled, making the tape crinkle.


“Sit down over there.”


They all went and sat on the couch, watching as the man used the white tape to secure their ankles together, before his friend came back in, and they both left, leaving them to wonder how they could get free…





Jo and Suzie both nodded as they stood in the centre of the room, their babysitter smiling as she held up the scarves in her hands.


“Ready for our game?”


They both nodded as she looked at them, and then rolled up a green scarf with a red and blue pattern into a band.  He walked behind Jo, the younger of the two girls at six years old, and said “open your mouth.”  As the girl did so, he pulled the band between her teeth, Jo closing her lips over it and biting down as she secured the ends together at the base of her neck, under her black hair.  Jo was wearing a white t-shirt with a cartoon on the front, pale blue Adidas shorts and brown trainers.


Suzie was nine, and was also wearing a white t-shirt with a pattern and shorts, as well as sandals on her feet.  She opened her mouth as the rolled up black and white bandana was pulled between her own lips, biting down on it as it was tied into place.


“Now then,” the babysitter said, “hands together.”  As the girls did so, she used a blue and white checked scarf to secure Jo’s wrists together, and then a red and white checked one for Suzie as the girls tried to talk to each other. 


She then used two more scarves to tie their ankles together – a red and white one for Jo, and a grey and white one for Suzie – before they jumped out of the room and went to hide.  This was a game they loved playing, and as the babysitter went to get a drink of water she had to admit she enjoyed it as well.


She was wearing a brown mohair jumper, and blue jeans with the legs tucked into knee length black riding boots.  As she drank from the glass, she was happy – and then the glass dropped to the floor as the latex gloved hand went over her mouth, and the voice said “not a word – time for you to play a game with the girls…”





“Why do you have to do this?”


“Because we need to stop you all raising the alarm,” the man said as he tied the rope round Audrey’s arms, holding them firmly to her sides.  He was wearing a balaclava so that only his eyes and mouth were showing, and for Audrey and her family his arrival had made a quiet day very different.


The middle aged woman was wearing a blue jacket over a white top, and faded jeans with brown fur lined boots.  Her daughter Alice was wearing a yellow top with a black leopard print, white jeans and black shoes, while her son James was wearing a blue hoodie as well as jeans and trainers.


Both of them were standing on the other side of the kitchen – the man had told Audrey to sit down with her hands on her head before he had used rope he took from a rucksack to bind the wrists of both of them together behind their backs, and then to force their arms against their sides.  They were twisting round now as they watched him bind their mother in the same way, and then he went into the bag, taking out two clean white handkerchiefs.


“No, please,” Alice said as she looked at him, but he just shook his head and said “open your mouth.”


“Alice – it’s all right, we’re all going to be the same, so be calm.”


The young girl nodded as she opened her mouth, and the masked man pushed a folded hankie into her mouth, then did the same thing to James before he tore strip after strip of brown packing tape from a roll and covered their mouths with them so that the cloth stayed in.


“You as well,” he said as he went back to Audrey, the older woman nodding as she opened her mouth and let him push two hankies in, then cover her mouth and jaw with the brown tape as well.  He then picked up the bag in one hand, and the gun in the other, before he indicated they should walk in front of him.


The family went into the hallway, up the stairs and into the master bedroom, the man making them lie face down on the bed before he used more rope to secure their ankles together, their legs below their knees, and then pulled their ankles back and tied them to the ropes around their arms.


All they could do was wriggled round while the masked man searched the room, and then left them to try and get free…





She was nine, he was six.  She was wearing a pink and blue dress, the top grey with a pink zig-zag pattern, the skirt pink with a wide grey belt that had a heart as a buckle.  He was wearing a blue and lime green basketball top and shorts.  Neither had anything on their feet.


But they both had something else as well – brown packing tape that was wrapped round their wrists and hands, holding them together in front of them, and also round their ankles as well as their legs below their knees.  A band was also wrapped round their arms and body, while strips of the tape covered their mouths.


And now, they were standing next to each other, watching the door as the two men stood behind them.  Both were wearing denim jackets and jeans, and had surgical masks covering their noses and mouths as well as dark glasses.


“I’m sorry I had to take that call,” they all heard a female voice say, “but now I can…”


Their mother stared at her children as she came back into the room.  She had only been gone fifteen minutes – and yet there they were, hostages.  She was wearing a pink jacket, a knee length black skirt and high black boots – and as she slowly raised her hands, she said “all right – I’ll do whatever you want.”


“Good – put your hands together in front of you.”


As she did this, one of the men walked round with a roll of brown tape, and secured her wrists and hand together as well, before he covered her mouth with strips of the tape as well.


He then walked out of the room as she looked at the children, both of them nodding their heads as he came back.


“Leave the note – the way is clear.”


All three of them were made to stand together as the other man took a photo with a Polaroid camera, and then left the photo to develop with a sealed envelope as they were walked out of the house…





Stephen knew he had done something bad as he stood in his pyjamas, the picture of his favourite characters on the yellow body of the top, the rest of the material purple.  He had tried to make his own breakfast, and succeeded – but the mess in the kitchen was there, and he knew how his mother punished him when he did something wrong.


She was dressed for her business, wearing a black jumper and tights, black boots and a blue and white checked skirt.  He nodded as she picked up the white robe belt, and wrapped it tightly round his body, forcing his arms against his sides before she tied a large bow in front of him.


“Lie down on the couch.”


“Yes, Mummy,” Stephen said as he lay on his back, watching as his mother used a second robe belt to secure his ankles together, and then she picked up a roll of white sticking plaster.  She tore off strip after strip, covering his mouth and jaw as he shook his head, his blonde curls rubbing on the leather.


“There – ah, here they are,” his mother said as she left the room, Stephen wriggling round until he heard a young girl say “Hello Stephen – we’re the same again.”


He looked to the door to see Soo come in in the arms of her mother.  His school friend was Japanese, and wearing a brown pinafore dress with patchwork fabrics, the pinafore over a blue knitted jumper, grey tights and trainers – but she had bands of rope wrapped round her body, holding her arms to her sides and her legs together, as her mother put her on the couch next to the bound and gagged young man.


Soo’s mother was also dressed for business, wearing a blue jacket over a purple dress, and black boots.  Stephen smiled under the tape as his mother brought over the white tape, and then covered her mouth with the tape as well before she turned the television on.


As the two mothers left, Stephen and Soo wriggled round and then watched as the film started.  They could hear their mothers talking – but after an hour or so, they were surprised to see a man walk into the room.  He was dressed in black, including the mask over his head so that only his eyes and mouth could be seen.


He walked over and checked the ropes and binding round them both, and then picked Soo up in his arms, the gloved hands holding her as he took her out of the room.  A few minutes later, he came back and carried Stephen to the room his mother used as an office.


He could see both their mothers sitting in chairs, their arms around the chair back, and ropes around their ankles and legs, as well as white tape over their mouths.  The masked man laid Stephen down next to Soo on the floor, before he left them all there, carrying a black bag out with him…







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