Mother and Daughter Moments 11
There have been occasions when the families I visit have had to cope with some sort of disability. Now, given I never try to upset them too much, I tend to avoid situations where that risk is heightened, but a year or so back one occasion arose which proved very profitable and gave one particular ten year old the biggest thrill of her life.
I was in the Metro Centre near Gateshead when I saw this dark haired woman pushing a wheelchair that had a number of designer shop bags on the handles, and the little girl sitting in it also held one or two bags. The woman was wearing a chocolate brown long sleeved top, bell bottomed jeans and brown shoes, while her daughter had on a long sleeved pink top with white trim and a white inset on the chest, a short pink and black tartan skirt, pink tights and black Mary Jane shoes.
I followed them as they made their way to the train station, and then took the train to a town called Corbridge, where they walked a short distance from the station to a cottage in a nice looking garden. I had a rucksack with supplies on my back, and a stocking and gloves in my jacket pocket, so as they went in I made my way round the back to have a look in the window of the kitchen.
The mum was at the sink, filling the kettle while I slipped back to the front and looked up an on-line electoral register on my phone for the address. It showed only one woman there, a Mrs Geraldine Cork, who I guessed was the mother. So no male resident was a fair assumption, as I put the stocking down over my head, and my gloves on, and let myself in.
I could hear the television playing as I walked past the main room, and to the kitchen. Geraldine was still making a coffee, so I did her the courtesy of letting her finish before I grabbed her, my hand over her mouth, and whispered “Don’t struggle or scream Geraldine – I just want to play a game with you and your daughter.”
“If you promise not to scream, I’ll take my hand away and tell you, all right?”
She nodded slowly as I removed my hand, and said “What sort of game?”
“I will not lie to you – I am a robber, and I am here to steal your valuables. But we’re going to pretend this is a game so that your daughter stays calm, understand?”
“But she can’t hurt you, she’s…”
“In a wheelchair, I know – but I will need to restrain and silence both her and you. So, will you help me to keep her calm and happy?”
“All right – what’s her name?”
“Alex – her name is Alex.”
“All right then, Geraldine,” I said as I took her hand, “let’s go and see her.” We walked into the front room, where Alex was sitting in an armchair, watching the television. She looked at both of us, and put her hands to her mouth.
“Hello Alex,” I said quietly, “I’m going to play a game of Robbers with you and your mother. Would you like to play that with us?”
She looked at her mother who nodded and said “that’s right darling – we’re going to play a game with him.”
“All right,” she said as she smiled, “what do you want me to do?”
“Well, we need to play the game as if it was real, so I’m going to take some rope and tie your wrists together behind your back, while your mother goes to draw the curtains. Can you lean forward for me?”
“Sure,” she said as I slipped off my rucksack, took a length of cord out, crossed her wrists and tied them together while Geraldine closed the curtains, making the room seem dusky. I then tied another length of cord around Alex’s arms and stomach, taking it between her arms and body on each side, and then tied a third length around her waist.
“Wow – I can’t move my arms at all,” she said as she wriggled round.
“Now I need to make sure your mummy cannot move her arms either,” I said with a smile as I took Geraldine’s wrists behind her back, crossed them and tied them tightly together, and then passed some rope through the belt loops on her jeans to fix them in place. I then used more rope to tie her arms to her sides, above and below her chest, before helping her to sit down.
“Hey – you missed some on me!”
“I’m sorry, Alex,” I said as I looked at her.
“I want to be tied just like Mummy – so I need rope around my upper arms as well.”
“I don’t think I need to…”
“Why – because I cannot walk or I’m too young? I’m ten and I can still try to get free, but I don’t think mummy can.”
I looked at Geraldine, and then used more rope around Alex’s upper arms, tying them tightly to her side.
“I know you cannot walk,” I said as I saw the wheelchair, “but I’m going to tie your legs anyway – just like mummy. All right?”
“Yes please – and thanks for playing this game with us. Life gets boring in a chair – this is exciting!”
“My pleasure,” I said as I tied her ankles tightly together side by side, making sure I took the rope between her legs as well, and then tied her legs together below her knees.
“Your turn Mum,” she said as I knelt down and tied Geraldine’s ankles together, the hem of her jeans flaring out under the tight band of rope, and then her legs below her knees, before I helped her to lie down on her side.
“Now, I need to make sure you both cannot scream and shout and raise the alarm,” I said quietly as I took two cloths and two black silk scarves out of my bag. Rolling one cloth up, I pushed it into Geraldine’s mouth, before rolling a black scarf up and tying a knot in the middle of it – a knot I slipped into her mouth as I tied the band around her head.
“Ready,” I said as I knelt beside Alex.
“Will it hurt?”
“No – it may be a little funny, but you’ll get used to it. Now, open wide.”
As she did so, I tied the knot in the rolled up scarf, and then gagged her just like mummy. I then stood up, said “Get comfy while I look round,” and then went to search the house for valuables.
When I came back in, Alex and Geraldine were trying to talk to each other, before they looked at me. “Right – I’m going to get a drink and pretend to leave the house. You can try and get free until someone says stop,” I said quietly, as I left them alone.
Naturally I called the police, and naturally I was well gone when they arrived, but the smile on Alex’s face as I left the room stayed with me for a long time…
Last October, I found myself in a town in Rhode Island on the 31st of October. Halloween is very much a time for the kids in the US, and families often dress up together and walk the streets doing trick or treat.
So who was going to pay attention to one more guy in a cowboy outfit, as he watched the families walking round? You see, I had researched the family of a local business owner in my down time, and I knew he was out of town today – and the challenge was just too good to pass up.
So there I was, watching the woman in her late thirties as she walked along the street with her two daughters. She was dressed in the style of a cowgirl, with a buckskin style short sleeved dress that had a fringed hem above her knees, a cowboy hat, red bandana tied round her neck and a pair of brown cowboy boots.
Her nine year old younger daughter was dressed as a Native American princess, in a brown dress that had a white right sleeve, fringes on the left sleeve, v-shaped skirt and down the front, and a pair of white suede ankle boots. She also had a headdress on, and Mummy had used some white powder on her hair before she pulled it back.
Her older daughter was eleven, and wore a more traditional Indian girl costume made of brown suede, with a patterned neckline and edge to her fringed skirt. The sleeves came to her elbows, and she wore brown moccasins. The outfit was completed by a matching headband over her forehead, and her brown hair in pigtails.
So I followed them from a safe distance, until they went back to their own two storey house. I parked outside, waiting until the streets started to clear, before I got out of the hire car, picked up my rucksack and made my way to the front door.
I was surprised to find it was unlocked, as I passed the bowl of candy that had been left out and walked in. Closing the door behind me, I listened to see where they were, and heard some sounds coming from the rear of the house.
As I got closer, I was surprised to hear the older girl say “Now we have, you, lady ranch owner – and you will never see your family again unless they meet our demands.”
Looking in the rear room, I could see that the family were playing a good old fashioned game of Cowboys and Indians. The girls had their mother sitting against a pillar that ran from the floor to the ceiling, and I could see her arms were wrapped around the pillar. The bandana that had been around her neck was now tied between her lips, and I could see some rope around her ankles as well.
She was laughing, but then she saw me standing there and said “Whhhruuu,” the girls turning to see me with my own bandana up over my mouth and nose.
“Well now,” I said in a really bad John Wayne accent, “I was going to rob the ranch owner, but it looks as if two little squaws beat me to it. Well, I guess I’ll just have to make sure they can’t raise the alarm while I find those deeds.”
“Who are you,” the older one said as she looked at me.
“Your pappy heard you might play this with your momma,” I said staying in accent, “so he asked me to mosey on down and make sure you all played the game together. All right?”
Their mother nodded as I said this, at which point the younger girl said “so are you going to tie us up like mom?”
“Well, not quite,” I said with a smile, “but I will make sure your mom is tied just like you, all right?”
The two girls nodded at that, as I said “Good, now you little squaws sit back to back, and link your arms.”
As they sat down, I walked over and whispered to the mother “Play along – I promise you they will come to no harm.”
She nodded slightly as I knelt next to them, and crossed the wrists of each of them in front of their tummies, tying them together with rope. I then tied their arms together at each side where they crossed, as well as tying them together around their waists and under their arms.
“Now,” I said as I knelt in front of the older girl, “I’m going to tie your ankles and legs, then those of your sister, before I make sure your mom is tied just as securely as you, all right?”
She nodded as I crossed and tied her ankles together, and then her legs below her knees. I then bent her legs so that the soles of her feet were on the floor, and tied her wrists to the rope around her legs.
I did the same for her sister, folding the skirt of her dress back as I tied her legs together, and tying her wrists to her ankles instead.
“Now, sit real quiet while I tend to the ranch lady,” I said as I looked at both of them, and then went to where their mother was sitting. I started by kneeling behind the pole, untying her wrists before I crossed and re-tied them, and then wound rope around her body and arms to hold her firmly against the support.
I then tightened the rope around her ankles, taking it between her legs as well, and then tied those legs together below the knees. I then removed her gag, allowing her to whisper “thank you for your promise” as I rolled it into a band and tied a knot in it.
“I keep my word,” I said as I regagged her tying the red band tightly round her head, and then fetched two more bandanas from my bag. I rolled them into bands and tied knots in the middle, before using them to gag the two squaws sitting back to back on the floor.
“Now, you ladies just sit there real quiet, while I look for the deeds,” I said as I winked at them, and then searched the rest of the house. When I got back, my takings safely stowed away, I checked the ropes and said “Well, the sheriff will be here real soon, so you just sit nice and quiet.”
“Whrugnng,” the older girl said as she looked at me.
“I gotta do what a man’s gotta do – but I’ll free you all real soon,” I said as I left the room, watching for a few minutes before I slipped out and called the police…
There was another recent occasion where I had to pay an evening visit to a family – which was unusual because it was one of the very few times where I came close to a very uncomfortable situation.
In this particular case, the father was one of those chefs you see on Saturday mornings on the BBC, cooking with James Marten, and he owned a restaurant in this town in the Midlands. His wife, whose name was Elaine, was in her late thirties, and worked as his accountant, while he had a ten year old daughter called Grace.
I had, as was my wont by now, been watching them for some time, and on the night in question I knew their father was hosting a gala dinner, so he would not be home until late. It was also a Friday night, and I knew he usually allowed his daughter to stay up late on Fridays so that she could see him come home.
This particular Friday, I was parked outside the house they lived in when I saw an unfamiliar car pull up, and a fair haired woman get out with another child. She looked the same age as Grace, with dark brown hair, and was wearing a floral dress, purple tights and black boots. She also had a rucksack in her hand as Elaine opened the door and let them in.
Well, I waited a while before the woman left, this time without the girl – that said one thing to me. Sleepover, but that was not a problem to me. I was more than prepared.
Once the car was out of sight, I slipped on the balaclava, and walked up to the house, heading to the back and letting myself in through the kitchen door. Once I was in and had closed the door, I stood still and listened for a while, before I heard Elaine calling down the stairs.
“Will you girls be all right for a little while?”
“Yes Mum,” Grace called back, “We’ve got drinks and snacks.”
“Good – I’ll be down in a little while,” she called down, and I walked slowly down the corridor, looking into the front room.
Grace and her friend were sat on a couch, watching television as they held their dolls. Grace had changed from the outfit she was wearing when she came home into a short sleeved nightdress, which came down over her knees and was covered in multicoloured spots, like one of those colour blindness tests. Her brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail, held in place by a ribbon, like her friend. The other girl was also in a nightdress, this one with long sleeves and a frilled colour, and the light green cloth had a pattern of little flowers of different colours.
Both of the girls were barefoot, and both of them had their dolls dressed in a little nightgown of the same type.
So I walked in, closed the door, and then put my fingers to my lips as they both looked at me, in my jacket, jeans and balaclava mask.
“Hello Grace,” I said quietly, “Mummy and Daddy asked me to come and play a very special and exciting game with you and Mummy tonight. So please, don’t shout out – it’s part of the surprise. What’s your friend’s name?”
“I’m Carol,” the other girl said, “who are you meant to be?”
“Me? I’m pretending to be a nasty burglar who has come to rob Grace and her mummy. But I promise you, it is a game, and it will be fun. Those are nice dolls by the way.”
“They’re our babies,” Grace said as she held hers, “Will you harm them?”
“Not at all,” I said, “and I am not going to harm either of you or Grace’s mummy. What I will do is make sure you cannot move for a while, and make sure you cannot call out, but it won’t hurt. I’ll even put a film on for you to watch.”
Grace smiled then, and said “All right – I know Daddy likes to surprise me, but how will you stop us moving and calling out?”
That was when an idea came to my head from a previous visit. “Let me show you on your baby,” I said as I went into my bag and took out a roll of thin black electrical tape. As Grace held her, I used the tape to keep her ankles together, then her legs over the nightdress. I then taped the dolls hands to her waist, and her arms around her chest.
“See, do you think she would be able to move like that?”
“Not very easily – what do you think Carol,” she said as she looked at her friend. Carol nodded and then said “would my baby have to be kept secure as well?”
“I’m afraid she would,” I said as I taped her doll as well. Yes, I know it sound strange and funny, but I could see the two girls relaxing as I did it, so I knew I had more chance when it came to securing them.
“There – now it’s your turn. I may do something slightly different for your wrists, and I need to use the right type of tape for you, but you will be able to hold your babies and look after them if I do this, all right?”
“Okay,” Grace said, “but who will go first?”
I reached into the bag and took out a roll of white micropore tape, putting the black tape on the ground for the moment. “I’ll go first,” Carol said, “what do you want to do?”
“Can you fold your arms in front of you,” I said quietly, and as Carol did so I taped her wrists to her elbows in front of her. I then asked her to sit up, while I taped her upper arms to her sides, and then as she sat back I laid her taped doll in her arms.
“You’re right, we can look after them like this,” she said with a smile. “Your turn Grace.”
I soon had Grace’s upper body secured in the same way, and as they both sat back I taped their ankles together, as well as their legs below their knees.
“I see you have the Frozen DVD – would you both like to watch that while I go and bring Grace’s mummy down?”
They both nodded, and as they looked at their dolls I set up the film. “Now, this is the part where I need to keep all four of you quiet for a while,” I said. “Shall I show you what I will do by taking care of your babies first?”
They both nodded and watched as I stuck a length of the black tape over the doll mouth, and then tore a strip of the white tape off. Smiling, I taped over Grace’s mouth first, and then Carol’s, before I started the film.
“I’ll bring Mummy to join you in a little while,” I said as I left them watching the film, cradling the dolls in their taped arms, and headed quietly upstairs. I could hear the shower running, so I made my way into the master bedroom, and started to search for jewellery and other valuables.
And the search was going well – until I heard someone say “oh my god” and I turned round to see Elaine standing there, naked except for the towel around her hair.
“Ah,” I said quietly as I looked at her, “this is awkward, but I think you should know your daughter and her friend are downstairs, taped and gagged, and I don’t think you would want to do or say anything to scare them would you?”
“You… You tied up my baby and her friend? Why?”
“Because I’m a robber. Now, please, put something on so that I can tie you up and take your valuables.”
“I don’t understand – why didn’t I hear them cry out or scream?”
“Well, they think this is a game that you and your husband have arranged for them to play tonight with you. I think for their sakes and yours, you should play along with that, don’t you?”
She stared at me for a few minutes, before saying “All right – so long as we come to no harm.”
“Apart from the inconvenience of being bound and gagged, no other harm will come to them or you – so please, put something on.”
She went to the bed and retrieved a nightdress from under the pillows, slipping it on as I looked the other way. When I turned back round, she was wearing a white silk dress with a motif of an autumn tree branch on it, the skirt covering her legs. She then slipped on a matching dressing gown, and removed the towel.
“If you would please turn round,” I said as I showed her the roll of white tape. She turned and allowed me to take her arms behind her, and tape her wrists to her elbows, before I wound the tape tightly around her upper arms and body.
“I have found some of your valuables,” I said as I looked to the dresser, “but it would be best if you told me where the others are, to avoid mess.”
“There’s a box in the base of the wardrobe,” she said. I soon found it and emptied it into my sack, before I took a small scarf and folded it into a pad.
“I’m going to gag you before we go down – open wide please.”
As Elaine allowed me to push the cloth into her mouth, she then closed her lips and watched me press the tape firmly over her mouth. I then took her arm and walked her downstairs, where Grace and Carol were still watching the film.
“Hllllmmm,” Grace said as we came in, “fnkssfrtthggmmm.”
“Urwlcmmm,” Elaine mumbled back as I sat her in a chair, and taped her ankles together, before I wrapped the tape around her legs, above her knees and over the skirt of her nightgown.
“cnustrtftflmgn,” Grace said as she looked at me, so I re-started the film, and left them watching as I closed the door on the front room…
Remember I mentioned that I had a female copycat running round, and I eventually found who she was? Well, I didn’t find out the first time we met, mainly because – it’s probably easier if I just tell the tale.
I had spent a couple of weeks scouting out the family of a local solicitor in this particular town, and had decided this Sunday afternoon would be a good time to visit, while Daddy was away paying golf. Mummy was in her early thirties, with long blonde hair, while her twelve year old daughter had darker hair like her father. I’d already seen them this particular day from outside – Mummy was wearing a light blue open necked blouse and jeans, while her daughter had on a short sleeved top with black and pink vertical stripes, jeans and brown fur lined boots.
I’d also seen a friend of the girl arrive – she seemed to be a year younger, and wore a long sleeved tunic with a red and white zig zag pattern, white leggings, socks and sandals. Her light brown hair was bunched into two bunches that hung down her back.
Anyway, I’d seen Daddy go, so after a suitable period I got out of the car, collected my rucksack, and prepared to go to work. I had chosen to wear the beard and balaclava today, as well as a grey fleece and trousers. So I walked up to the front door, pulled the balaclava down, and let myself in.
I could hear Mummy in the kitchen, so I decided to make sure the girls knew what was going to happen first, as I put my hand on the handle of the door to the front room and let myself in. Both girls were indeed there, and both looked at me as I closed the door and put my finger to my lips.
“Hello,” I said quietly, “which one of you is Karen?”
“That’s me,” the older girl said. She had taken off the boots, and I could see her white socks as well. “Who are you?”
“Well, I’m here to play a special game with you, called Robbers. Your mummy, Karen, wanted this to be a surprise for you, so once I’ve started playing with you, I’ll go and find Mummy and get her to play as well.”
“Is he really going to play a game of robbers, Karen,” the younger girl said as he looked at me.
“I think so, Annie,” Karen said, “and Mummy does play this game sometimes. So what do you want us to do?”
“Thank you,” I said silently to myself before I said “Well, I need to make sure first that both of you, as well as Karen’s mummy, cannot move for a little while, so why don’t we start with your hands.” I took my rucksack off, and took out two lengths of cord, before I said “Both of you, kneel down and put your hands behind your back. I promise you, it will not hurt.”
“What do you think, Annie,” Karen said as she looked at her young friend.
“All right – so long as it doesn’t hurt,” she said, and the two girls knelt in front of the couch. Smiling, I knelt behind them and crossed Annie’s wrists behind her back, tying them together with one length of cord and then doing the same for Karen. They both tried to twist their arms round, as I took two more lengths of rope and tied them around their waists to lock their wrists against their back.
“There now,” I said as I stood up. “Now, the next thing we need to do is…”
“Karen, Annie, I have a big surprise for both of you. How would you like to play a game of…”
I don’t honestly know who was the more surprised – Mummy as she came in and saw the two girls with their wrists tied together, or the woman who was behind Mummy.
The mystery woman was wearing a black leather jacket, jeans and trainers, but she also had a stocking pulled down over her head. As for Mummy, her arms were pulled behind her back, and she had rope tied around her upper body, above and below her chest, holding her arms against her side.
“Wow, Mummy,” Karen said, “so you’re already playing the game as well?”
The masked woman was looking at me with her head to one side, and for a moment I wondered where I had seen her before. I soon shook my head, however, and said “That’s right Karen – my friend went to see Mummy first, didn’t you?”
“Yes – yes I did,” she said, and I was amused to hear her use a similar Scottish accent to he one I was putting on. “Mummy was going to surprise you, but I see you surprised her. So shall we all play the game together?”
“Do we get the other ropes mummy has,” Karen said as she looked at me.
“Of course you do, why don’t you let Mummy have a seat here,” I said as I indicated the armchair, “and then my friend and I can make your arms secure as well.”
So as Mummy sat down, the masked woman and I sat behind Annie and Karen, and started to wrap rope around their upper bodies. Once their arms were snugly tied to their sides, we sat them down on the couch as I took more ropes out of my bag.
“Now, we need to make sure the three of you stay in the room,” I said as I knelt down, crossed Annie’s ankles and started to tie them together.
“You as well, Mummy,” my friend said as she crossed and tied the mother’s ankles, and then secured her legs below her knees. She was good - quick, neat, and they were tight, as I secured Annie’s legs and then moved over to Karen.
“Are you having fun girls,” Mummy said, the two girls nodding as they wriggled their bodies around.
“Now, the next thing the nasty robber had to do is to make sure none of you can call out. Why doesn’t my friend show you with Mummy what we’re going to do?”
The masked woman nodded as she took a cloth from her pocket, and held it in front of Mummy’s mouth. Nodding, she slowly opened it and allowed the stuffing to be placed inside, before she closed her lips over it, and a length of white tape was stuck firmly over her lips.
“Your turn now girls,” I said as I took two hankies from my bag. They both nodded and opened their mouths, and a few minutes later they both had tape covering their lips as well.
“Now then,” I said as we looked at them, “you sit nice and quietly, and we’ll be back to check on you in a little while.” The two of us left the room, before I closed the door and said “so you’re the copycat I heard about.”
“No,” I said with a smile, “flattered. Look, what say we split this one 50-50?”
“Seems fair to me. Let’s search together though.”
So we went round the house together, taking what we could find, and then went back into the front room. The three of them were sitting quietly, so I put the television on while my friend checked the ropes, and then we made our way out – splitting what we found down the middle before we went our separate ways.
Whoever she was, she had some style and skill, and I could not shake the feeling I knew her from somewhere. Exactly who she was I discovered later…
been a few occasions recently when I have come close to been caught – one my
own fault, the other…
Well, let me tell you about the former first. I do the spur of the moment thing less and less often, but it still keeps me sharp and alert, so this particular Wednesday afternoon I was in a market when I saw the two of them walk past.
The mother was in her early thirties and I could see she was wearing a green v-necked jumper with white stripes on the front under her black leather jacket. She also had on a pair of black trousers and black suede shoes. Her hair was brown, and done in a style so that it was braided each side of her head.
Her daughter looked to be about eleven, and was wearing a pick denim jacket over a yellow round necked top, matching pink jeans and trainers. I could see them looking round a lot and talking to each other, the girl’s braided hair hanging down her shoulders, as they moved from stall to stall. Now, normally I would not be bothered, but I was a little out of practice, I had some spare time – so I followed them as they walked to a nearby estate, and went into a semi detached house. There was no car outside, and I decided to take my chances.
I soon made my way back to my car, got my rucksack and walked back, pulling my gloves on when I did so. Walking up to the house, I glanced inside and could see mum and daughter sitting on a couch and talking, so I walked up the side of the house, pulled the stocking down over my head, and made my way into the kitchen.
I was hoping to find the kitchen empty, but when I came in I saw they had a guest, who was making some coffees. She was about five foot six tall, and had short brown hair with blue star shaped earrings. She was wearing a black cardigan over another dress, dark leggings and black leather boots, and was humming to herself as I quietly closed the door and walked up to her.
I was about to put my hand over her mouth when she said “Who’s there,” and turned round. I saw the brown spectacles, and that her dress under the cardigan had a yellow, black and blue pattern as if it had been tie-dyed. She looked me up and down, and then out her hand on her hip as she said “I’ve heard of you – you’re that burglar they call the Games Player, aren’t you?”
“I am,” I said with a smile, “and may I know your name?”
“Jane – Dr Jane Reeves,” she said quietly, “and I can’t allow you to rob Caitlyn and Roseanne.”
“Is that their names? And, more importantly, why do you think you can stop me?”
“Because I am their therapist,” Jane said as she stared straight at me, “and they have had quite enough traumas in their lives. They are in hiding from an abusive father and husband, who kidnapped them and held them captive for three days.”
“He kidnapped his own wife and daughter?” I was genuinely shocked to hear this, but as Jane nodded she said “He’s facing a court case, and they need to appear in court against him. My job is to help them to recover enough, get enough strength to do that, and I will not have you hurting them.”
“If you really know who I am,” I replied, “you would know I never hurt those I visit.”
Jane slowly nodded, and then said “true – so I have a counter offer. I need to get them to face their fear of what happened, and you might just be the one to help them. If you play the game with them, and make it a real game, I won’t turn you into the police. There’s an envelope with two thousand pounds inside it in my purse – you can take that. But touch anything of theirs and I blow the whistle right there and then. Understood?”
“So I play the game, but rob you instead? Why?”
“Because I want them to get better, and this might help, so will you?”
I thought for a moment, and then took my rucksack off, pulling a length of cord form inside. “Turn round and put your hands behind your back,” I said, “and I’ll bind them. When we go in, say this is a game to help them face their fears. We’ll take it slowly, and give them time to get used to each part.”
“Agreed,” Jane said as I wound the rope around and between her arms, binding her crossed wrists together.
“After you,” I said as we walked into the front room, where the mother and daughter were sitting on the couch. They looked up at me and Jane as we came in, and the daughter grabbed her mother’s arms, whispering “no…”
“It’s all right Roseanne,” Jane said, “This man has come to help with a new part of your therapy. I know your daddy stopped you and Mummy from calling for help and moving round, but I want you to be able to realise it was not the rope he used that did it – it was him.”
“What are you suggesting Jane,” the mother said.
“I’m going to pretend to rob you, Caitlyn,” I said quietly, “and what I’m going to do is make sure all three of you cannot move or speak for a while. But I will do it one stage at a time, and give you a chance to get used to it.”
“We’ll stay that way until my husband comes to pick me up,” Jane said, “and I want you to remember this is a game, all right? Now, he has already tied my wrists – which of you wants to go first.”
I could see them thinking about it, before Caitlyn said “me first – but in front.”
“As you wish,” I said as I put my rucksack down and opened it, taking out a length of rope and doubling it over before I tied the young woman’s wrists together in front of her, Roseanne watching the whole time.
“Does it… Does it hurt Mummy,” she said after I had tied the rope off and tucked the ends into the band. Caitlyn twisted and moved her hands around before she said “No, it doesn’t – be brave and felt him do it to you.”
The girl nodded and held her hands out, shivering slightly as I tied her wrists together. “Now,” I said as I went over to Jane, “watch how I secure her legs.” I crossed and tied her ankles tightly together, the rope rubbing over her boots, and then her legs below her knees.
Jane twisted her legs around, and then said “it doesn’t hurt either – will you let him do it to you as well?”
Caitlyn nodded as I knelt in front of her, watching as I tied her crossed ankles together and then her legs. When I had finished, she stretched her legs out and said “It doesn’t hurt either darling. You can let him do it – he’s not going to hurt you.”
So I gently tied Roseanne’s ankles and legs, and then stood up, as Jane said “Let’s talk for a while about how this feels.” I left them alone for a few minutes, and headed to the kitchen to get myself a drink of water.
This was certainly different, but I had to trust the doctor when she said she would not betray the trust. Looking in her bag, I found the envelope and checked the contents, before I put it in my inside jacket pocket and walked back.
“Now then,” I said, “there are two more things I need to do. The first is to tie your arms to your sides – that way, it is more difficult for you to move about.”
I took care of Jane first, attaching her arms to her sides with rope above and below her chest as she sat in the chair.
“I want to lie on mummy’s lap,” Roseanne said as I looked at her. Nodding, she watched as I tied Caitlyn’s arms to her side, but kept her wrists free as I tied her daughter’s arms and helped her to lie on her side. I then tied Caitlyn’s wrists to Roseanne’s legs, and her daughter’s ankles to the leg of the couch.
“Still all right,” I said, the three of them nodding as I produced a roll of brown sticking plaster. They all soon had a brown strip covering their mouths, as I said “Now, relax, and remember – I did not hurt you,” before I left them alone.
I wasn’t reported, so I guess the doc kept her word – in fact, for a wheel there I thought she was actually the copycat. I was wrong, but that’s yet another tale.
That second occasion, though – that was a real doozy.
I was on one of my business trips to the US, and had spent two weeks doing what I get paid to do. Over the middle weekend, I had read in the local paper about a local banker donating gifts to charity, and my interest was definitely piqued as I read about them, and saw the clothes and jewellery his wife was wearing in the pictures.
Curt Holstein was his name, and his wife was called Inga – they had two daughters, nine year old Eva and ten year old Hanna, as well as an eighteen year old son called Curt Junior. The family actually lived in a converted ranch house on the outskirts of the town, at the edge of a fairly new estate.
As I researched them, I realised they would indeed be worth visiting to play a game with, so I planned carefully, and obtained all the supplies I was likely to need. I had found out, for example, that the son played for his college soccer team, as they insist on calling it, and they had a tournament that Saturday, while the dad was due to work that day. Suddenly it was looking more and more profitable.
So early on the Saturday morning, I drove to a park near the front of the house and sat watching carefully, as the father and son came out, the son putting his kit bag into the trunk of their car, and they drove off. Allowing myself a few minutes, I left my car, took my rucksack from the back, and walked slowly over to the house itself. The garage was open, so I walked quickly in, pausing only to pull my gloves on and the usual stocking down over my head, before I slowly opened the door into the house and slipped in.
I could see Hanna lying on the floor in the front room, kicking her heels as she read a book. The ten year old has frizzed brown hair, with a large black chiffon bow tied in it, and wore a black smock dress with, as I saw when she rolled over and then back, a false waistcoat studded with white sequins, black pants and black slippers.
Leaving her there for the moment, I walked slowly down to the kitchen, and saw Eva in there, sorting out the cupboards. She was a larger woman, in her early forties, with long blonde hair in the same style as Hanna’s. She was wearing a white vest top with a knee length charcoal grey denim skirt, and knee length black leather boots.
Taking a deep breath, I walked in and started the game, grabbing her and placing my hand over her mouth as I said “Remain calm – I’m not going to hurt you, so long as you help me and do exactly what I say.”
“Hrruuu,” she said as she tried to pull my hand away, so I regret to say I had to use a little persuasion – the gun persuading her as she stopped struggling.”
“Now, I’m going to rob you,” I said quietly, “which means I need to keep you and your two daughters out of the way. What I need you to do is to pretend this is a game you have set up, and I’m just pretending to be a robber. That way, it won’t be so scary for them. Will you do that?”
Eva nodded, and I took my hand away as I put my rucksack on the table. “You promise you will not hurt us,” she said as she turned and looked at me.
“I promise. I saw Hanna earlier – where is Inga?”
“In… In our media room, in the cellar, playing a game.”
“Good – then we need to start with Hanna. First, though, I need to secure your wrists.” Opening the bag, I took out two sponges and said “I want you to make a fist with these in your hands, out in front of you.”
She looked at me and said “Why?”
“I need to make sure that when the game is underway, the three of you really cannot get free – and this is my way of doing it, so please, hold the sponges.”
She watched as I used a roll of white tape to cove her fists, and then crossed her arms behind her back, using some rope to tie her wrists tightly together, and then secured them to her back with a length round her waist.
“Now then,” I said quietly, “let’s go and tell Hanna about the game, shall we?” I picked up my rucksack and held Eva’s arm as we walked into the front room.
“Who is the man, mama,” Hanna said as she turned and saw us, “and why are your hands behind your back?”
“This is a man I’ve asked to come and help all three f us play a game together,” Eva said. “He’s pretending to be a bad robber, and he’s going to make sure the three of us all stay in the same place and can’t make any noise.”
“Oh,” Hanna said as she looked at me, “and what has he done to you?”
Eva turned and showed her the covered and bound hands, Hanna touching them before she said “and it will not hurt?”
“No it won’t” I said, “and I’ll leave all three of you in the media room, listening to music or watching a DVD.”
“OK,” she said brightly, “what do I need to do?”
“Well,” I said, “I want you and Mama to be just the same before we go and surprise Inga. So please, hold these sponges, and it will only take a minute…”
I soon had Hanna’s wrists secured as well as her mothers, as we walked into the corridor and I opened the door to the cellar. As I did so, I noticed the padding on the inside, and it occurred to me it might be soundproofed. Anyway, we walked down to see Inga sitting on a leather couch, with a large Persian rug on the floor in front of her, playing a game on an Xbox 1.
It was an impressively equipped room – large TV, speakers, and comfy seats. In fact, it several calls from Eva before her daughter looked round, and then jumped up. The nine year old was wearing a smock with long sleeves, that had grey daisies on a white background, black leggings and a pair of knee length brown leather boots, while her dark hair was in two bunches on top of her head.
“It’s all right, sis,” Hanna said as we came down, “mama’s arranged a very special game for all of us. This man is pretending to be a robber, and he’s going to make sure we can’t leave this room while we listen to music or something.”
“Is this Uncle Peter’s idea as well,” Inga said as she looked at me.
“Yes it is sweetheart,” Eva said, “so do what he says, and we’ll all play together, all right?”
“All right,” she said, “but what has he done to your hands?”
“It’s the first part in making sure none of you can move or talk for a little while, just like a real robber would do,” I said as I put my rucksack down. “You mama and sister are going to sit here, while I do the same thing to you, all right?”
She nodded as I made two white fists of her hands, and then tied her wrists behind and against her back. She then sat down on the other side of Eva as I said “Now, I need to make sure you can’t run away. Who wants to go first?”
“I will,” Inga said, “because I was last the first time.” She was swinging her legs off the edge of the couch, and then watched as I crossed and tied her ankles tightly together, and then her legs below her knees. Hanna was next, and then their mother, so that all three were unable to run away now.
“Now,” I said as I looked at them, “the next thing I need to do is make sure your arms are locked to your sides.” I did this with ropes around their arms and chests, in the case of the two girls in double figure of eights around their stomachs and forearms, and then around their shoulders. With Eva, I passed the rope several times above and below her chest, and then cinched it with shorter lengths under her arms.
“We’re like snakes now mama,” Hanna said as she wriggled her body round, Eva laughing and agreeing even as she looked at me.
“Now,” I said, “it is really really important that nobody can hear you, so I’m going to put something in your mouths, and then some of the same tape that is around your hands around your heads to keep it in there.”
“Do you have to – this room is soundproofed,” Eva said as she looked at the girls.
“I only have your word for that – and don’t worry, just breath in and out through your noses, all right? Mama gets to go first.” I held a folded scarf in front of Eva’s mouth, watching as she slowly opened it and allowed me to push the stuffing in.
I then used a knotted strip of towel to keep that in, tying it around her head as her lips closed over it, and then wound the white tape tightly round her head.
“Is it all right mama,” Hanna said as I tore the tape loose and soothed it down, Eva nodding as she said “brrfltlnsnlthmmdt.”
“Now, which of you would like to be first,” I said as I held a large handkerchief up.
“Do us both at the same time,” Inga said, so I put the roll of tape down and pushed a folded cloth into each of their mouths, and then used a similar strip of towelling tied between their lips, the knot sitting behind their teeth. Once I had wound the tape round their heads, I tickled them, their muffled giggles telling me it would work.
“Now, one more thing,” I said, “I’m going to have you all lie on the floor, and make it so you can only move like wriggly worms.”
The two girls nodded, Eva watching as I helped them to lie on their stomachs and tied their ankles to the rope around their stomachs. I then helped her to the floor and pulled her ankles back, tying them to her chest ropes as she looked at her daughters.
“Now,” I said as I found a One Dimension CD, “let’s start the game.” I turned it on loud, the two girls signing along as Mama watched me, and then left them happily wriggling as I went back up.
My suspicions were confirmed when I closed the door to the cellar, and only a faint mumbling could be heard. I then proceeded to gather a lot of very valuable pieces and other goods into my rucksack as I searched the house.
And that would have been that – were it not for the fact that as I searched the living room, I heard two cars pull up outside, and glanced out of the window. To my initial horror, I saw Dad and Curt Junior get out of the first car. That horror only increased when I saw two police officers get out of their car, both armed!
Grabbing my bag, I ran upstairs as fast as I could, standing behind the bedroom door as I heard them come in.
I closed my eyes, dreading the sound of footsteps on the stairs, but instead I heard laughter and the sound of bottles opening, so I grabbed my bag and started to sneak downstairs.
I could see all four of them in the kitchen, sitting round the table as I crossed quietly to the living room and listened. With all four bigger and stronger than me, and two armed, I wanted to be sure I could get out.
“So you managed to get the rest of the day off Curt?”
“Yup – we got finished early, so I thought I’d come home for lunch. Then I ran into you and Ernie here, so I figured you’d want to join me.”
“Makes sense – where is my sister and the girls anyway?”
“Probably out shopping – they’ll be home soon enough. How did the tournament go son?”
“Not good – we got knocked out, which is why I was walking home when you picked me up.”
Well, at least I knew now what had happened, and that they weren’t here because they suspected I was in the area. Having said that, I decided to be valiant, and discretely get the hell out of there. Putting my rucksack on, I snaked slowly down the corridor, and slipped out of the front door.
As I was opening it, I heard one of the officers says “Got any more coke, Curt?”
“Should be some in the cellar – can you go and get it Junior?”
That was my cue, as I closed the door to before Junior saw me. I did hear the sudden increase in the sound of the music, and the loud shout of “DAD!!! GET DOWN HERE!!!” before I pulled the stocking off and walked quickly away.
Ten minutes later, I drove past to see squad cars converging on the house, and breathing a huge sigh of relief as I got away. I decided there and then to check relatives of targets as well – particularly ones in the police forces who may be armed…
Now, my mysterious copycat… This started when I paid a little visit to a very exclusive estate on the outskirts of Cardiff. I’d been following this family for a few weeks – Dad worked in media, Mum was an executive secretary, and cute little eleven years old Laura was a brown haired bundle of joy for her family.
So this particular Sunday afternoon, I watched Daddy dearest head off for the golf course, and collected my rucksack from the back of the car, before I walked up to the front door and rang the bell.
Yeah, I was that forward, but the day was nice, and I wanted to minimise the time I was in the place. Anyway, mum opened the door, wearing a blue round necked dress with elbow length sleeves and a knee length skirt, as well as a black ribbon belt tied in a bow on her right hip. A string of pearls hung around her neck.
Well, naturally when she saw my stocking masked self on the doorstep, she wanted to scream – but my hand over her mouth and showing her the starting pistol soon showed her the error of that idea. “No shoes in the house,” I said as I looked down at her bare feet.
“NNhrrruu,” she said as I closed the door.
“Don’t worry, Lesley,” I said as I looked at her, “I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to play a game with you and Laura. Do as I say, and tell her this is a game you and your husband have organised, all right?”
She nodded slowly as I said “Good – now, where is she,” removing my hand so that she could answer.
“She’s in her bedroom,” Lesley said.
“All right, “I said as I held up a length of cord I had taken from my pocket, “turn round, hands behind your back, and once I have your wrists secured we can go up and start to play the game.”
I soon had Lesley started, and we walked up to the little girl’s bedroom. Laura was lying on her bed, wearing a similar dress to her mother. Hers had a higher neck and short sleeves, and her ribbon belt was tied at the left hip, but she even had the pearls round her neck as well.
“Hello Laura,” I said as she looked at us, “we’re going to play a game of robbers with you and your mother, isn’t right mummy?”
“That’s right dear,” Lesley said, “so I want you to do what the man says. He’ll do the same to me, and then we have to stay as still and quiet as we can before we try and free each other, all right?”
“All right Mummy,” the little girl said, her brown hair falling over her shoulders, “what do we do first?”
“Well first, I need you to take off your jewellery and leave it here with your mum’s” I said as I removed Lesley’s pearl necklace and put it on the table, watching as Lesley did the same. “Now,” I said as I took off my rucksack and removed some rope, “stand in front of me and put your hands behind your back.”
I soon had her wrists tied together, and then I walked them both into the master bedroom, Laura watching as I tied her mother’s arms tightly to her sides, and then helping her to sit on the bed before I tied her arms to her sides in the same way. Normally, I would have done it differently for the girl – rope around waist and lower arms – but something in her dress and manner told me she wanted to be just like mummy.
“Are you all right like that Laura,” her mum said as I tied the ropes off behind her.
“I’m fine mum,” she said as she sat next to Lesley, and they both watched as I crossed their ankles and tied them together, and then their legs below their knees.
“Now then,” I said as I looked at them, “I need to make sure neither of you can raise the alarm while we play the game.” Opening the wardrobe, I took out two large head squares and folded them into bands, tying a double knot in the centre of each one.
“All right, now open your mouths as wide as you can,” I said as I gagged them both, and then helped them to lie down facing each other, before tying their ankles to their chest ropes, their legs bent at 90 degrees. I then gave then both a little kiss, before I started to search the house.
It was while I was back in Laura’s room, putting the strings of pearls in my bag, that I saw a woman in a black leather jacket and blacks pants walk up to the front door of the house next door. While I watched, it was opened by a dark haired woman, whose eyes widened in shock as she was pushed back into the house.
Now, I knew from my observations she had a nine year old daughter, and I was fairly sure her husband had left before the husband of the family I was visiting, so I realised my copycat was in the next house.
I was intrigued, so I checked my two, told them could try to escape while I waited downstairs, and then walked out, back to my car and depositing my rucksack, before I doubled back and pulled the stocking back over my face. I slowly opened the door and slipped in, closing it behind me as I heard faint mumblings from the front room.
Looking in, I saw the mother and daughter sitting back to back on the floor, a length of rope tied round their waists. The mum was wearing a salmon pink dress with capped sleeves, and a pair of black leggings, while the nine year old had on a white smock top and knee length denim trousers.
Their legs were tucked up to their chests, while they had their wrists crossed and tied together in front of their legs, and then secured to their bound ankles.
They both turned and looked at me over the silver tape that covered their mouths, so I smiled and pointed upstairs, from which I could hear noise. They both nodded as I said “I’m another friend,” and then left them there, slowly walking up the stairs.
And there she was, the stocking over her head as well as she searched through the drawers in the mother’s bedroom.
“Hello,” I said, making her turn and look at me, “we meet again.”
“Oh God,” she said, and as she did so I realised who it was, “don’t tell me we targeted the same house again?”
“No – I was next…” I stopped as I saw a car pull into the driveway, and said “No time – come with me.”
Grabbing her hand, we both ran downstairs and out of the back door, waiting at the side of the house until Daddy walked in before I said “Mask off and run for my car.”
“No buts Janna – do it.”
I took off my own mask as she did, and we looked at each other for two seconds, before we both sprinted off to my car and got in, heading off as fast as I could drive.
After ten minutes, Janna looked at me and said “Shit – you’re the Games Player?”
“And you’re the copycat,” I said as I turned the corner, “so what are we going to do about it?”
She looked at me, smiled and said “Let’s go to your place – we can talk there and maybe play our own games?”
“Yeah – yeah, I’d like that,” I said – and the rest of that night is private!
Suffice to say, like Jay and Mrs McPhee, we agreed to help each other from then on…
Now, some people have said I do not respect those I visit, and really I’m just a crook with a shtick. Well, I can understand why some people say that, but saying I do not respect the families I visit…
I was walking down past the Portobello road one day when I saw two women – one in her late thirties, the girl maybe about twelve, but one look at them told me they were of the Islamic faith, and possibly from one of the Far Eastern countries from their facial build.
The older woman was wearing a dark green jumper and a long fawn coloured skirt, with a green handbag under her right arm. She also wore a scarf over her head, going from a light brown at her forehead to a light grey as it fell over her shoulders and the front of her chest.
As for the younger girl, she wore a bright pink silk blouse with a light pink cardigan over the top, and a pair of blue jeans. Her head was also covered with a scarf, in her case a white one with multicoloured dots, but unlike her mother it was tied in a bow at the side of her neck, the ends hanging over her shoulder.
But I confess what drew my attentions was the gold bangles they both wore, and the labels on the bags they were carrying, so I followed them along the streets and then onto the tube, grateful in a way I had my trusty rucksack with me. We ended up in the north of the city, as I followed them down a leafy little avenue and they went into a house. I naturally followed them, stopping for a moment to slip on the stocking over my head and the gloves on my hands before I stepped in.
When I closed the door behind me, however, the first thing I heard was a quiet noise coming from the front room. Looking in, I saw both of them kneeling on the floor, and it was fairly obvious to me that they were in prayer.
So I let them complete their prayer time, taking the chance to look through the rest of the downstairs rooms and find a few things there. When I got back, the mother had just stood up and was about to leave the room, so I allowed her to do so – and then surprised her by putting my hand over her mouth and pulling her back against me.
“Don’t struggle, I’m not going to hurt you,” I said quietly. “I presume you speak English and can understand me?”
She nodded as I said “Good – we’re going to pretend that I am here to play a game with you and your daughter. Play along, and I promise neither of you will be hurt, understood?”
She nodded again as I said “good – now, let’s go in and you can explain what is going to happen.”
We went back into the room, the young girl gasping as she saw me. Her mother smiled and said “It’s all right – this man is going to play a special game with both of us.”
“That’s right,” I said as I removed my rucksack from my back. “I’m going to make sure you and your mother cannot move, and then when I give the signal you can race each other to see who can manage to move first.”
“How will you make sure we cannot move?”
“I want you to feel this,” I said as I took a length of soft rope from the bag and handed it to the girl, before I used a second length to secure her mother’s wrists together behind her back.
“It feels soft – is that what you used to stop my mother from moving her wrists?”
“That’s right – turn around and I will do the same to you.” I smiled as she did what I asked, and I secured her wrists as well, before I used more rope around their waists. The mother had on a black belt with metal studs, so I made sure her rope sat just below that.
“Now then, I need to make it very difficult to move your arms,” I said as I took out two longer lengths. I used the first on her mother, the rope going above and below her chest, before I tied it off.
“Do you want to be the same as your mother?”
The girl nodded, so I did the same to her, the ropes pulling her cardigan open slightly, before I helped her to sit down and her mother to lie on her side on the long recliner.
I then tied her mother’s ankles together, before wrapping a length of rope around her legs above her knees, gathering her skirt underneath as I did so. It made the hem rise slightly, so that the band of rope around her ankle boots could be seen, but I assure you her modesty was preserved.
I then tied the daughter’s ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees, before I said “You may talk for a while as I pretend to steal your valuables.”
They started talking to each other in a funny language as I checked their handbags and removed the batteries from their mobile phones, and then searched the rest of the house, collecting quite a lot of nice jewellery. When I went back to the front room, I said “Now I need to help you both to be quiet before you start to try and move. Please open your mouths.”
As they both did so, I pushed a folded hankie into their mouths, and then wrapped white tape tightly round their heads, covering their mouths as I went over their scarves. Once I was done, I checked their ropes, and then left them to try and get free – making sure I called the police after a while.