Mother and Daughter Moments 16
Let me tell you this time about the most terrifying visit I have ever made in my, admittedly short, career of crime – and it had nothing to do with the family I was visiting. Rather, it had to do with their own guest.
I had seen them for a few weeks now – they had just moved to the area, in fact. She was in her late thirties, with long chestnut brown hair, and always smartly if casually dressed. Her husband worked for a local solicitor, and they had a twelve year old daughter. She seemed to be very shy, always holding her mother’s hand.
I did know they were fairly well off, however, so I made plans to visit them at some point. That time came when I noticed her husband loading a suitcase into his car, and then driving off, his wife and daughter waving from the doorstep.
I needed to collect what I needed, so it was an hour or so later when I walked up the pathway, and made my way to the rear of the house. I was dressed as I usually was when it came for a visit – black jumper and leggings, leather jacket zipped up, black leather boots with a flat sole, gloves, and stocking which I pulled down over my head.
Getting into the kitchen wasn’t a major problem for me, as the lock was easily picked, and I let myself in. I could hear some people talking in the front room, and was about to walk to them when I heard footsteps approaching the kitchen, so I hid behind the door.
It wasn’t the mum who came in, however, but an older woman – maybe in her late forties. She had blonde hair, and a striking sense of dress style – a pink jacket and knee length skirt, with grey hose and heels.
As I looked at her back, something didn’t seem quite right – it was as if there was a warning bell ringing at the back of my mind, telling me to get out of there. Having said that, she was between me and the kitchen door, as she poured herself a drink – and I could not go out of the front door without the possibility of being seen, and if that was the case, then I may as well play the game – first persuading this unexpected visitor to join in.
So I ignored that bell, silently closed the kitchen door, walked up behind the woman as quietly as I could, and put one arm around her waist and my free hand over her mouth.
I have no idea what happened in the next five seconds – or how it happened – but the next thing I realised I was on my back on the kitchen floor, the woman straddling me with her hand round my throat. Her legs were pinning my arms to my sides – and she was strong. Major league strong and fast, as she looked at me, her grey blouse visible under her jacket.
“Big, big mistake,” she said as I started to feel the most real terror I had ever experienced. Her face, her body seemed to be changing, and as I looked at the watch on the wrists attached to the hands around my throat, I saw the face start to change colour, from green to yellow.
That was when I realised who this woman was – and that fear grew exponentially.
There is a name, whispered around the criminal fraternity. Steve told me about it one night, after a few drinks, and I could see his face pale and his hand shake as he told me. The name concerns a woman, often working with another man, who is called in when the police have a particularly dangerous class of criminal to deal with. Nobody knows her real name, or that of the man, but one thing they do know. If she is called in, the criminals involved wither ended up dead, or insane.
That name was the Pink Widow – and one thing was very clear to me as I lay there, shaking and trying not to cry. She was astride me now, and I was possibly never going to see Steve or my family again.
She seemed to be changing before my very eyes, and I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out – and then something very strange happened. The face of her watch changed back to green as she looked at me, and she took her hand from my throat, although her legs still kept my arms rigid against my sides.
“Who are you,” she whispered as she looked at me.
“The... the papers call me the Female Games Player,” I whispered, too afraid to do much else, “my name’s Jjjjjjj Jenna.”
“Jenna,” she said as she looked at me, and then smiled. “I’ve heard of you – get up, Jenna, and take a seat.”
She stood up, and offered me a hand as I stood.”
“Problem, Sarah,” I heard the mother call out.
“No problem, Gemma – you and Stella keep talking about how you feel now, and I’ll join you shortly.” She then sat opposite me and looked at me, before she said “a couple of months back, you robbed a family called Irvine, remember?”
“Yeah – twin girls and a babysitter. They were pretending to be spies from W.H.O.O.P. from that TV show – the sitter was a girl called Jenny Craig, and she’d met my...”
I nodded as Sarah smiled and took my hand – and the fear just seemed to ebb away from me. “I know Jenny and the Craigs – and she said you were kind to her. I guess that’s why I don’t perceive you as a major threat – but we have a problem here.
“I work as a counsellor as well, for people who have had very bad experiences at the hands of the criminal fraternity – and Stella, the girl who lives here, was the victim of a very nasty kidnapping ring last year. They moved here in part to help her get over that experience, and I’ve been helping her as well. You turning up presents a problem.”
“In what way,” I asked.
“You remind me of some other people I know,” Sarah said, “so normally, I wouldn’t come after you. But – and it’s a big but – you broke in when I was here, and normally I would do one of two things. Call the police, or deal with you myself. On the other hand, having the police descend on here would set Stella back months, if not to the beginning. So...”
She looked at me and said “here’s the deal – and it’s a one time only offer. You operate by pretending to be a burglar, to keep the kids calm, right?”
I nodded as Sarah said “well, this time that’s all you’re going to be. You will pretend to be here at my invitation, to help Stella and her mother get over the last stages of her fears. You will tie me up, then her mother Gemma, and then Stella, so that she knows there is nothing to be afraid of, just as you normally would. Then you leave – and this house, the people in it, are off limits to you and your partner. You’ll also have to keep quiet about who I am.
“Do that, and my husband will call to pick me up in a couple of hours, and release us. I’ll keep quiet about what you really were here for, in return for your silence.”
I looked at her, and said “what happens if I don’t?”
“I don’t think you really want to know, do you?”
She was right about that, as I said “I need my bag in that case.”
Sarah nodded as we stood up, and she crossed her wrists behind her back. “Let me do the talking at first,” she said as I took a length of rope from my bag and started to tie her wrists together, “and then you can get started.”
I nodded as I tied the rope between her arms, and said “I hope that’s not too uncomfortable.”
“I’ve known worse,” she whispered as we started to walk down the corridor, and into the front room.
Gemma was sitting at one end of a brown couch, watching the television as we walked in. She was wearing a white v-necked t-shirt, grey slacks and white trainers. Stella, the girl, was sitting on the floor, her knees under her chin and her arms around her legs. She was wearing a white blouse, crimson cardigan, red and black tartan checked pleated skirt, white socks and black shoes, and her blonde hair was platted into two pigtails, which hung over her shoulders.
“Oh no,” she whispered as she saw me, and pushed herself onto the couch, gripping her mother’s arm as she did so.
“It’s all right, both of you,” Sarah said quietly, “I’m sorry if this has surprised you, but I want us to go through a little exercise, to finally deal with Stella’s fears of what happened right at the start of her time away. I’ve asked this woman to come and help by pretending to a burglar, which is why she has a stocking over her head. She’s going to use ropes to tie me up, and then she’s going to tie your mum up Stella. I want you to watch, I want you to see we’re not afraid of what is happening, and then I want you to let her do to you what she does to us.”
“And this will help her,” Gemma said as she hugged her daughter.
“Have I led you wrong before? It will show you the ropes are not the thing that caused the fear – it was who was using them, and they cannot hurt you now, can they Stella?”
“No,” the little girl said as she shook her head, and I realised the reason why – Sarah had visited them.
“All right,” I said as I took my rucksack off, “Mummy and Stella just sit where you are, while I take care of your friend here.”
Taking more rope, I tied Sarah’s wrists to her back by taking it around her wrists, and then tied some rope around her lower arms and stomach, as well as around her upper arms and shoulders. I’d started using the double ropes above and below the chest a lot more by this time, but something told me that would be – frowned upon.
A decision that was reinforced by Sarah whispering “smart move” as I helped her to sit in a chair. Kneeling down, I crossed and tied her ankles together, and then secure her legs below her knees, before I stood up and looked at the mum and daughter.
“See,” Sarah said as she turned and looked at them, “I’m not afraid despite what she had done to me. Gemma, come and hold my hands a minute.”
“It’s all right dear,” the woman said as she stood up and walked over, Sarah turning so that Gemma could hold one of her hands. “Be brave,” Sarah said with a smile, “and show Stella there is nothing to be afraid of here.”
As her mum nodded, I looked at the young girl. “Sarah has told me what a brave girl you are,” I said quietly, “so be sure I’m not going to hurt you. Hold this for me, while I take care of your mum.”
I handed her a length of rope, before I took Gemma’s hands behind her back, and started to tie them together.
“It doesn’t feel as if I should be afraid of it,” she whispered as I tied the first length of rope off, and then secured Gemma’s wrists to her back.
As I wrapped the rope around her mother’s arms, Sarah said “Tell me how it feels to you Stella?”
“It’s like a skipping rope,” the little girl said, “just like that.”
“That’s right darling,” Gemma said as I passed the rope around her shoulders, “so it’s not going to hurt you, is it?”
“no it’s not,” she said as she moved to the side, her mother sitting down and both of them watching as I tied Gemma’s ankles together, and then her legs below her knees, the rope sitting over her trouser legs.
As she settled herself in, I looked at Stella and said “Why don’t I take care of you slightly differently – let’s tie your legs together first.”
“All right,” Stella said, Sarah nodding as I tied her ankles together side by side, making sure I took the rope between her legs as well, and then around her legs below her knees. Once I had tied that off, I helped her to stand, holding her for a few minutes before she said “you’re right, mummy and Sarah – there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“I’m so proud of you, Stella,” Sarah said as I took the young girl’s hands behind her back, crossed her wrists and started to tie them together with the rope she had been holding, and then passed some around her waist to keep them there, before adding the extra bands around her stomach and her shoulders.
“There – all three of you nice and tightly tied up. Does it feel scary, Stella?”
“No – I mean, I know I can’t move easily, but you were very kind and looked after me.”
“Now,” Sarah said, ”where do you want to be Stella?”
“Can I lie down with my head on mummy’s lap?”
“Of course you may,” I said as I helped her to jump over and then lie on her side, he head resting on Gemma’s lap.
“Would you be so good as to put the television on, and then to put a DVD in – shall we say Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? I know it’s one of your favourites, Stella.”
“Yes please,” she said as I sorted that out, and then looked at Sarah.
“Before the film starts, and my friend goes, there is one more thing a burglar would need to do. He needs to make sure we can’t call for help, so I’m going to ask her, if she can, to put some tape over our mouths.”
I looked into the bag and took out a roll of white micropore tape. I would normally have used stuffing as well, but not this time...
“Excellent – it means we can’t talk properly for a while,” Sarah said, “but we can sing along together to the film. Me first.”
I nodded as I tore a long strip off, and then smoothed it gently down over Sarah’s mouth, before checking the ropes, and seeing the green watch face.
“Uncctjmme,” Sarah mumbled, the mum nodding as I taped over her mouth.
“Thank you,” Stella said as I tore off the third wide strip.
“For not been scary,” she said before I taped over her mouth, and then started the film, nodding to Sarah as I slowly walked out, out of the room, our of the house – and out into the cool air, counting my blessings this one night.
That business in Leicester... I knew they were talking about it in the chat room, but just what was going to happen after that I had no idea about. A few weeks later, however, I started to find out – and how.
I’d been doing research on Sharon Curtis for some time – a successful businesswoman, she was divorced with two daughters, twelve year old Michelle and eleven year old Constance. Living in a large detached house on the outskirts of their home town, they liked to support local charities, and I had found various photos of them – but one of my favourites was them sitting on an old train. Sharon had long chestnut coloured hair, and was wearing a black v-necked top, jeans and baggy black boots. Michelle had the same style of hair, and wore a black vest top, jeans and old brown boots, while Constance had lighter blonde hair, a black top, jeans and trainers. They looked happy together – so I hoped they would enjoy being happy tied together.
It was a Saturday afternoon when I drove into the drive at the front of the house – the high wall and trees around made me feel fairly safe. I got out, checked my rucksack, put on the gloves and stocking before I tucked it into the neck of my jumper, and made my way to the front door.
It was unlocked, so I slipped in and checked the downstairs rooms. From the kitchen, I could see the car was in the garage, but there was no sign of any of them. I was about to move upstairs, figuring they were up there, when I heard a funny sound, like a squeaking.
A young girl then said “Are you going to tell me where the valuables are?” There was another muffled squeal, before the voice said “Okay then. I am going to take your daughter to her room where I will ask her where her valuables are. You had better hope that you are willing to talk when I return. Go to your room, girl.”
I then heard two people moving – one sounded perfectly normal, with a soft footfall, while the other person sounded as if they were jumping and hopping – the footfall was louder, duller. A door then closed, and I made my way very quietly up the stairs, wondering what was going on.
The door to one room was open, and as I looked in I saw a very unusual sight. It was the master bedroom, and Sharon was in there all right. Just not as I expected to find her.
She was wearing a pair of thick pink wool tights, and a long pink jumper that would under normal circumstances have come down her thighs – but she was not exactly in normal circumstances. A pair of black woollen socks was over her feet, her tights tucked in, and a second pair covered her hands as she knelt on the floor. There were bands of rope around her wrists and ankles, holding her arms together behind her back, and there were also bands holding her ankles together, as well as her legs above and below her knees and her thighs.
A long rope was tied around her chest and thighs, holding her in a ball, as well as a rope from her wrists to her ankles, while a thick pink cloth covered her eyes. Her hair was tied behind her back in a pigtail – the binding going to her elbows, while a pink waffle ball was in her mouth, the leather straps tied securely around her head.
For about thirty seconds, I wondered if someone else had broken in, so thorough and tight was the binding, but then I remembered the voice – and I realised it was one of her daughters who had done this to her.
So I closed the door, walked quietly over and knelt next to her, before whispering in her ear “Hello Sharon – I’m here to rob you, but don’t worry – I’ll make it a game for your daughters.”
She tried to turn her head when she heard me, and wriggled round, before I got another surprise – she blushed, and started to actually giggle into the gag. So I untied the ball, easing it out of her mouth and wiping some drool away with my glove, before I said “why are you laughing?”
“You’re really him,” she said, “the Games Player?”
“Yes I am.”
“Oh this is amazing,” Sharon said, “that you turned up just as we were playing a Games Player: the Intruder.”
“Yes,” Sharon said as she smiled, “I’m the mother, Constance is my daughter, and Michelle is – well you. We take turns, but this is a real surprise.”
“Okay, this is different...”
“Tell me about it – my girls have followed your exploits in the press – well, you and the woman, whoever she is – and you might say they’ve become fans of both of you. We’ve played this game for a while – taking turns to be you – and at least until recently it was a simple cops and robbers type thing. But then we read about Leicester...”
“Oh,” I said quietly, “and that meant?”
“Well,” Sharon said as she licked her lips, “we agreed that we would now have to be forced to say where the jewels were. How long have you been in here?”
“I heard the girls going to another room.”
“Constance’s room is two doors down,” Sharon said. “What you heard was Michelle pinching my arms and legs to get me to talk.”
“And the gag?”
“We tend to be tied for a while, and anything else dries our mouth out. So we made these – one for each of us – and sometimes they are taped over as well.”
“Well, Sharon, I am going to rob you, and I am going to bind and gag all three of you. So I’m going to put the gag back, and see to your daughters – but I’ll bring them in to join you as well.”
“Listen – when you go in, it’s all right to say who you are.”
“Won’t it scare them?”
“Scare them? It will make their weekend – trust me.”
Nodding, I said “open wide” and then put the ball back into her mouth, before I walked quietly out of the room and down two doors. As I looked through the crack of the door, I saw Michelle and Constance, acting out their game.
Michelle was wearing a black jumper and tights, with a black domino mask covering her eyes and black gloves on her hands. As for Constance, she was wearing a red sweater and tights, with black socks on her hands and feet – and yes, she was tied and gagged as well.
Her legs were tied at the ankles and knees, and her arms were tied together at her wrists and elbows, but in front of her rather than behind. She was sat at the foot of the bed, her ankles raised and tied to one end of the foot of the bed, and her wrists above her head and tied to the other side, so that she was sitting on her bottom. A wide red cloth was tied over her eyes, and a red waffle ball gag in her mouth.
As I watched, Michelle was tickling her sides, Constance begging and pleading with grunts and laughs as she tried to wriggle out of the way.
“Well, will you tell me where your valuables are?”
“Really,” Michelle said as she tickled her younger sister again, until she said “llrrtlltlk.” She reached round and untied the gag, easing it out of Constance’s mouth as she said “well?”
“Actually,” I said as I opened the door and came in, “she really needs to tell me that. After all, I am the Games Player.”
Michelle turned and looked at me, her mouth open before she said “On my – it really is you, isn’t it? This... Is... AMAZING!!!”
“You’re joking? It’s the real Games Player,” Constance said as she wriggled round, “get this blindfold off, Michelle – I want to see as well.”
Michelle uncovered Constance’s eyes, the younger girl blinking before she squealed “Ohmygoditreallyisyouthisisfantasticicantbelieveit...”
“Calm down,” I said quietly as I looked at them, “I was going to play a game with you and your mother, but it seems you have started without me. I hope you don’t mind if I take over now.”
“OH lord no – we’d love you to,” Michelle said happily, “there’s ropes and things in the bag on the bed.”
I looked at the canvas bag, and said “All right – I’m going to tie Michelle up in the same way as you Constance – but not to the bed. I will, however, take you to your mother’s room where you can be safely secured, and you are all together. So, Michelle, for the moment, sit on the bed quietly – and you can take the mask off if you want.”
As she sat down and took the domino mask off, I released Constance from the foot of the bed and helped her to stand up. “Will you be all right like that for a few minutes,” I asked, and as she nodded I went to Michelle, and gave her a pair of socks to put over he hands, before starting to bind her wrists together in front of her, hands palm to palm.
“You do good ropework,” I said as I passed the rope between her arms, “nice and snug.”
“Thanks – it took a lot of practice,” Michelle said as I then tied her arms together in front of her at her elbows, and then knelt down, tying her ankles tightly together and then her legs below her knees.
“My gag is in there,” Michelle said as she looked at the bag, “will you tape out mouths over as well?”
“Later, before I go – now, stand up.”
As she got to her feet, Constance said “You’ll never get is to tell you where our valuables are.”
“Yours are in the wardrobe, right?”
“How do you know I’m not lying?”
“We’ll find out,” I said as I used the black waffle ball gag on Michelle, and then put the red one back in Constance’s mouth, making sure they were secured and the cloths blindfolding them before I said “all right – start jumping.”
Sharon turned her head as we came in, and said “Grllssruthrr.”
“Ysmmm,” Michelle said as I walked over, this time removing her gag and her blindfold as she looked at her daughters.
“It’s all right girls, I know who he is, and we’re safe with him,” she said as she looked at them, “I know he’s going to try and make you talk, and then me, just be brave.”
“Fcrsmm,” Constance said as I looked round the room. The bed was a large four poster one, and there was a rail running between the posters, so – given they seemed to want this – I made the girls jump to either side of their mother, and then tied a long length of rope to their wrists, taking it over the rail and pulling it so that they stood on tip toe, and then securing it to the post itself.
They looked at me as I removed the blindfolds, and said “Well – where are your valuables?”
“Wrrntsnngg,” Michelle said – which was the cue for me to start to tickle them both, Sharon laughing as she watched them try to wriggle out of the way, and then giggling through their gags, before Michelle said ”lrlrtlttllu.”
“Very sensible,” I said as I loosened the ropes so they could stand on their feet, re-tied them to column, and then removed their gags.
“I was telling the truth,” Constance panted, “they are in my wardrobe.”
“Top drawer in my room – the one between this one and Constance’s,” Michelle said.
“Good girls,” I said as I replaced the gags, and then took some tape from my bag, and wound it round their heads, the white tape covering their gags.
“Your turn, mummy,” I said as I knelt down, and whispered “What about their things?”
“It’s just cheap things we use for props,” Sharon whispered, “but they would love it if you took them. Mine – well, they’re going anyway, but I’m not going to tell you where they are.”
“We’ll see,” I whispered back as I untied her hair from her elbows, her wrists from her ankles and released her legs from her chest, and then helped her to stand up before I put the gag back in her mouth.
Moving her so she stood between her daughters, they watched with their hands above their heads as I tied some rope to her elbows, and then took it over the rail, pulling her arms up behind her until she stood on tip-toe and her arms were raised behind her. Tying the rope off, I looked at her and then opened a large walk in wardrobe, smiling as I saw the safe.
“Dnttlmmmm,” Michelle said as I started to tickle her sides and legs, asking all the time what the combination was as she wriggled round and laughed into the gag. She actually held out far longer than the girls, until I started to tickle the back of her knees – and that was enough for her to say “llerrtlttlllu.”
I loosened the rope and let it drop so that she could stand on her feet, her arms still pulled up behind her as I said “well?”
She gave me the combination, and also told me where her jewels were, before I re-fixed the gag and wrapped the white tape around her head as well. All three of them watched, and I could see them almost smiling as I emptied the safe, took the jewels, and then collected the other items from the girl’s rooms.
“All right,” I said as I came back, “I’m going but I will call the police and let them know your predicament. One hour, all right?”
Sharon shook her head and grunted twice, so I said “two hours?”
All three of them nodded, me shaking my head as I said “all right then – One last thing.”
I tied the cloths over their eyes – a black one for Michelle – and then left them as they wriggled and tried to talk to each other. It was about four then – so I called at six, and I’m sure they told the police what they could.
Those were and are still rare occurrences – and whenever they do happen, I have to be sure that everyone is happy for that to happen. I have to say, I still prefer it when things are kept simple – nice, quiet, and the kids really believe it is a game.
A couple of weeks back, I was going to visit this home in Glasgow – you know, when the snow was thick on the ground. Said house belonged to a consultant at the Western General who had done rather well for himself – his wife was in her mid thirties, with long brown hair, and they had a twelve year old and a ten year old daughter.
When I was sitting outside their townhouse, I saw them walking up the road, all wearing thick jackets, hats and gloves to keep the cold out. I could see Mummy was wearing a pair of brown leather boots that covered half way up to the knees of her jeans, while the two girls were wearing Disney princess themed pink and white snow boots, which sank into the snow as they walked along.
I let them go into the house, and then waited a few minutes before I got out of the car, walked up the driveway and rang the doorbell. It was opened by mummy – who looked at my balaclava covered head before I pushed her back inside, and put my gloved hand over her mouth as I slowly closed the door behind me.
“Do not panic, do not scream,” I whispered as she tried to pull my arm down, “I am going to rob you, but I don’t want to upset your daughters, so you are going to tell them this is a game, and get them to play along. Nod if you understand.”
“Enddrstnd,” she mumbled as she nodded her head, so I said “if I take my hand away, will you keep your voice down?”
She nodded again, and as I removed my hand she said “you won’t hurt my bairns?”
“No – I will tie all three of you up, and stop you from talking, but I promise if you do as I say, that will be all.”
“All... All right,” she said quietly as I looked at her. She was wearing a white short sleeved top and the denim jeans I had seen under the coat, as well as a little necklace.
“What are your names?”
“I’m Rhona,” she said, “and the girls are Daphne and Maggie”
“All right,” I said as I looked at her, “I want you to put your hands behind your back, and stay still for the moment.” As I took some cord from my jacket pocket and tied her wrists together, I said “You will tell Daphne and Maggie that I am here to play a game of Cops and Robbers, and if they play along they’ll have great fun.”
As she nodded, I heard a kettle boiling. “What were you planning to do?”
“I was doing a couple of hot water bottles,” she whispered, “the girls were feeling a bit cold.”
“Well, let’s not disappoint them,” I said as we walked down the corridor. As we passed the front room, I glimpsed in and saw the two girls sitting on the floor. The taller girl had a pink sweatshirt and dark jeans, with a pink headband that had a flower on it, while the smaller had on a purple sweatshirt and headband with faded baggy jeans.
“Which one’s which,” I said as I watched Rhona sit in a chair.
“Daphne’s older – look, why are you doing this?”
As I filled the two hot water bottles, I said “Do you want them to be frightened, upset, scared?”
“No – bad enough I am,” Rhona said as she wriggled round.
“Well, making it a game will mean they are not scared – and these,” I said as I held up the two candy stripes bottles, “will play a part. Come on – and remember, tell them this is a game.”
Standing up, she nodded and walked into the room, saying “hey girls – we’re going to play a game of cops and robbers!”
“Is he the robber,” Daphne said as she looked at me. I could now see their sweatshirts were identical in terms of the patter on the front.
“I am, and I’m afraid I need to make sure mummy and her little bairns are unable to stop me,” I said with a smile, “but I’ll also put the telly on for you to watch. Now, you girls wanted these hot water bottles?”
“Yes please,” Maggie said as she nodded.
“Good – all three of you, sit on the couch,” I said, watching as Maggie sat on the right side of Rhona, and Daphne on the left. Handing the two girls their hot water bottles, I said “now, give them a hug against your tummy – and then I’m going to use some of this rope to make sure they stay there.”
The two girls did as I asked, watching as I tied their wrists to their elbows so that they had the bottle under their folded arms. I then knelt in front of the family, and used some cords to bind their legs together, taking the boots off the two girls and tying their ankles together over their socks, and Rhona watching as I tied her booted ankles together.
I then tied the legs of all three of them together, below their knees, and took two more lengths of rope, tying them around Maggie and Daphne’s forearms and then down to their mother’s knees.
“Now,” I said as I turned on the television, “you can all sit quietly and watch while I pretend to have a look around for mummy’s nice things.”
I left them alone for a few minutes, the girls resting their head on their mother’s shoulders as I went and searched the house, and also picked up three scarves – two red chiffon rectangles, and a large gold and black headscarf.
Coming back down, I looked at the three of them and said “the bad robber needs to make sure you cannot shout for help for a while. So I’m going to tie these into your mouths – remember, it’s all a game, so it won’t hurt.”
Rhona nodded as I used the chiffon scarves as cleave gags for the two girls, smiling as they tried to talk to each other. Rolling up the larger scarf, I tied a knot in the band and eased that into their mother’s mouth, tying the band around her head and trapping her hair in the same way Maggie and Daphne had their hair pressed against their neck.
“The good policeman will be along in a while to rescue you,” I said as I left – but at least they were toasty warm...
Allow me, if I may, to tell you the story of Pookie, and how she helped what could have been a very unfortunate position.
I had been investigating for some time the possibility of visiting the home of Rowena Holding, a very well know local estate agent, who traded in top of the range houses. The sort of place the Mansion Tax, if Labour ever got into power, would be top of the list of places to be hit.
Rowena was in her early forties, and had a twelve year old daughter called Zoe. Now Zoe had a mild form of Down’s Syndrome, and I had plenty of pictures of her with her parents, so I knew if I was to visit there, it would need additional care in handling, but it wasn’t the first time I’d needed to do that.
Her husband worked as an art dealer in town, so I needed to be careful about when I picked to make a visit – but I eventually settled on an early evening. I knew Mister Holding was hosting a viewing in his gallery that night, so I expected there would only be Rowena and Zoe at home when I arrived.
So at about six thirty, I arrived outside their cottage – and sure enough Rowena’s car was parked outside, and I could see some lights on in the house. So I parked up, took my rucksack and made my way up to the front door. Pausing for a moment to slip the stocking down over my head, and then put on my leather gloves, I tried the front door handle and was pleased to see it opened, so I let myself in.
I could hear the television was on in the front room, so I walked slowly down and looked in. Zoe was sitting with her mother, her long brown hair falling over the shoulders of her white top. From her waist I could see a brightly coloured skirt coming to just above her knees, the pattern like an animal print but in different shades, black legging, blue socks and moccasin like shoes in a floral print.
Rowena was sitting next to her, in a grey pinstripe skirt and jacket, dark hose and black suede shoes. She also had a large purple scarf with a black tiger print wrapped round her neck.
I watched for a few minutes, wondering if I should interrupt or wait for one of them to come out, when the decision was made for me, as Zoe said “Who’s out in the hallway mummy?”
Taking a deep breath, I came in and said “Hello Zoe – your mum asked if I would come and play a very special game with you and her tonight, until daddy gets home.”
Rowena looked at me, and then stared even more as Zoe said “a game? What sort of game?”
“Well, a game of robbers – your mum booked it as a very special surprise, didn’t you Mrs Holding?”
Rowena slowly nodding, realising who I was, as she said “that’s right Zoe – this man is going to act like a robber, and pretend to steal some things.”
“Not Pookie,” she said as I saw her clutching a teddy bear, dressed in a whiter jumper.
“No, not Pookie,” I said as I smiled at her, “in fact, you need to do something very special for this game. Pookie needs you to love him and reassure him everything s going to be all right – will you do that for me?”
“What are you going to do to us,” Zoe said as she looked at me.
“Well, a robber needs to stop you and mummy from moving for a while,” I said as I took my rucksack off, “but you’ll still be able to watch television and things. Now, why don’t you both put your ankles up on the coffee table for me?”
“Mummy doesn’t like me putting my feet on there,” she said as she held Pookie.
“I think she’ll let you off this once, won’t you?”
Rowena smiled and nodded as she put her feet on the table, and said “it’s all right Zoe, I’ll allow it just this once.”
“All right mummy,” Zoe said as she put her feet up, and watched as I crossed and bound her mother’s ankles tightly together with some white rope, taking the rope between her legs as well. I also tied her legs together below her knees, cinching the coils by taking the rope between her legs, and tying it off before I said “now Zoe, would you like your ankles crossed or together.”
“Together,” she said, watching as I tied her ankles tightly together, and then secured her legs below her knees, Rowena watching the whole time.
“He’s tickling me mummy,” she giggled as I pulled the rope between her legs, Rowena laughing as she said “I’m sure he doesn’t mean it.”
“No I don’t and I’m sorry if that was ticklish,” I said as I knotted the ends together. “There – you can both put your feet on the floor now.”
“Look mummy – I really can’t move my legs,” Zoe said as she looked at me. “Pookie’s scared you’re going to do that to him now.”
“Well, I need to make sure he can’t get away, but you tell him it’s only for a little while, and you’re not scared of it.”
As she did that, I got an idea, and taking a length of rope I handed it to Zoe and said “you tie his legs together.” Once she had done this, I took a longer length of rope, and then tied it around the bra’s arms and body, tying it in front of him and leaving to long ends hanging.”
“Now, Zoe,” I said quietly, “you need to hold Pookie really tightly for the rest of this game. Do that now, and I’ll help him to stay there.”
“Really? Thank you,” she said as she hugged her teddy bear close to her, and I tied her wrists to her arms in front of her. I then asked her to shuffle forward, and I took the ropes from the teddy around her arms and body, making sure they held her arms to her side as well as the bear to her front before I tied it off around her forearms.
“There now – Pookie is safe with you, and you’re going to stay here, aren’t you?”
Zoe smiled and nodded as she settled in, and I said to Rowena “Very slowly, move your hands behind your back.”
It only took me a few minutes to tie her wrists together behind her back, and then I tied her arms tightly to her sides, the rope above and below her chest and then under her arms.
“Now Mummy can’t move either,” I said as I looked at both of them, and then took the mobile phone from Rowena’s handbag. “Now, if I go and have a look round, will you two promise to be nice and quiet for me?”
They both nodded and watched as I left the room, and did what I had to do in the other rooms, before I came back in.
“Now then,” I said as I looked at Zoe, and brushed her hair from her head, “the bad robber has to make sure you and mummy can’t call for help, so he’s going to put something in your mouth, and then something over your lips that means you can’t speak. Mummy will be just the same, and you both need to help each other and Pookie by keeping calm and not struggling. Can you do that for me?”
“How will you stop Pookie talking?”
“Watch,” I said as I tore a strip of white tape from the roll, and stuck it over the teddy bear’s mouth. “Can he talk now?”
Zoe listened, and then said “no – so what will you put in my mouth?”
“This,” I said as I took a clean hankie from my bag, and folded it into a pad. “Open your mouth, and then close it when I put this in.”
Zoe nodded and waited until I put the hankie in, then closed her lips as I smoothed the wide strip of tape over them.
“Eerrlylcntspkwll” she said as I did the same thing to Rowena, and then turned the television up.
“Now, the robber is watching, so stay still until the good cop or daddy comes to free you,” I said, Zoe nodding and waving her fingers as I picked up my bag and left the room...
I know Steve has mentioned how the visit he had near Leicester changed a few things. Well, in a way it did for me as well – I just did not know it at the time.
I had been researching a woman called Helen Cheng, who lived in Beaconsfield. She was in her late forties, divorced with two daughters, eleven year old Ali and ten year old Soo, both of whom attended a local school, and she seemed to be making a good living out of her writing – good enough to live in such a nice area, at any rate.
She looked good for a woman with two girls as well – there was something of that actress – Michelle Yeoh, that’s the name – about her. The photos I had managed to uncover of her showed a woman of poise and grace, but there was something about her eyes which showed a steely determination.
There was also something about her face that nagged at me – something familiar, but just out of reach. Still, I had learned by now not to let that get in the way of a potentially profitable visit – so this particular Sunday afternoon found me in Beaconsfield, looking from the road at Helen’s house. I was in my usual outfit – black roll neck sweater and leggings, knee length leather boots and leather jacket, and a black hat made of wool covering my hair.
Getting out of the car, I retrieved my rucksack and walked up the path, pulling on a pair of soft leather gloves as I did so. The door was set back under a shelter, so I took the opportunity to take my hat off, and roll a stocking down over my head, before opening the front door and walking in.
I could hear the television on in the front room, and the girls laughing, so I left them alone and walked quietly along the corridor, stopping outside one particular door and looking in through the partial opening. Helen was sitting at a desk, typing on a computer with a set of headphones over her ears, oblivious to anything as I walked in and closed the door. She was wearing a long sleeved white blouse with blue jeans, her long dark hair falling over her back, and a red belt around her waist as well as short red leather boots on her feet.
Walking up behind her, I waited until she had stopped typing and was looking at the screen, and then put my gloved hand over her mouth, as I whispered “Good afternoon Helen – please, don’t struggle or scream. After all, we don’t want to frighten your daughters, do we?”
“Hthllruu,” she mumbled as she looked at her screen, the reflection of my stocking covered head on it.
“Me? I’m the woman who is here to rob you, but I want you to pretend this is a game so that your daughters do as they are told and don’t panic.”
She raised an eyebrow and said under my hand “Urrhrrr? Thgmssplr?”
“That’s right – so, if I take my hand away, are you going to be quiet?”
She nodded as I took my hand away, and she slowly turned her chair around, the anger in her eyes and face clear as I stood in front of her.
“The Games Player? The female one?”
“That’s right – so I apologise now for what is about to happen to you and your daughters, but treat it as a game, and...”
“Wonderful,” she said crossly, “yet again I get tied up and walked over by a woman...”
And that was when I remembered where I had seen her face before. It had been in the papers a couple of years ago – the husband had not been the most loving of men, but it was reported the final straw was when he tied his wife face down to the bed, arms and legs spread, and then stuffed her mouth with her panties before wrapping tape around her head.
In itself, bad enough, but the man had then brought his mistress into the room, blindfolded, and then told her to walk up and down on the bed, the wife unable to stop her as she had walked all over her with her bare feet...
Now, credit to said mistress – when she discovered what he had made her do, she testified on behalf of the wife – and that wife was sitting in front of me right now...
“Something wrong,” Helen said as she glared at me.
“I am genuinely sorry,” I said quietly, “but I am here, and I am going to rob you, and I am going to tie up and gag you and your daughters. Will you help them by telling them this is a game, and they need to play along?”
Looking at me, she said “very well – but I did not arrange this. My publisher did and he decided to tell me by e-mail as you started.”
“They will believe that?”
“They will believe that is why I am angry – which you can see I am,” she said as she stood up. “Well, let’s get this over with – come. I will speak with you in private once you have made sure they stay where they are.”
We stepped out of her office and into the living room, where Ali and Soo were sitting on the floor, and were actually playing a game of Quack Attack! They both turned and looked at me, and at their mother, before Ali said “Mum – who is this?”
“This woman,” Helen said as she pointed to me, “has been hired by my publisher to pretend to be a robber, and I didn’t know about it until she turned up – otherwise I would have objected. As she is here now, though, I want you to play along with me, so that she and my publisher are satisfied.”
“Great,” Soo said as she looked at me and her mother, “It takes ages for her to calm down when she’s angry, and she’s angry now.”
“I know, and I will have words with the man who hired me,” I said quietly, “but if you treat this as a game, then it won’t be too bad, and hopefully your mum will calm down more quickly.”
“So you’re a robber, and you’re going to pretend to rob us,” Ali said as she stood up. She was wearing an orange t-shirt, while her younger sister had on a white t-shirt, while they both wore jeans with their feet bare.
“That’s right – but I’ve been asked to make it as real as possible, so I need to make sure you two stay in this room while I take your mum upstairs. I’ll take you to her later, but I need to talk to her alone.”
“All right then,” Ali said as she held her sister’s hand, “if mum is happy for that to happen.”
“I don’t appear to have a choice,” Helen said as she watched. “Will you allow them to talk to each other?”
“So long as they promise to talk quietly, and not try to shout out. I’ll need all your mobile phones, however.”
“Why don’t you fetch them, Ali,” Helen said, “and bring them here.”
As the older girl went off, I said to Helen “why don’t you sit down, and Soo, you stand in front of her, and let me put your hands behind your back. I’m going to tie them to each other, and then make sure you can’t move your arms for a little while.”
“All right,” she said as Helen sat down, and I crossed Soo’s wrists behind her back, using some soft rope to secure them tightly together and taking the rope between her arms, and then wrapping it round her waist to keep her hands against her back.
“Oh my, you do know what you’re doing,” Ali said as she handed three phones to her mother, then stood in front of her as well as I tied her wrists together and to her back.
Taking two more lengths of rope, I tied them around the arms and stomachs of both girls, wrapping the rope around their arms just below their elbows, and using a double figure of eight to make them secure as Helen watched.
“Now, do you girls do gymnastics?”
They both turned and nodded to me as I said “good – sit on the floor with your legs in the lotus position.”
Helen watched as they sat down and crossed their legs, and I tied their ankles to their knees, before watching as they shuffled back against the couch.
“It’s all right,” Soo said, “mum, are you going to be all right?”
“I will be,” Helen said quietly as she looked at me, “now what?”
“Well, you can’t play the game, so how about I put a DVD on for you until you go and join your mother. You can pick.”
“A real robber would keep us quiet,” Ali said. I looked at Helen, and said “Listen – there is a way I have seen someone kept quiet in Chinese films. Would you like to try it?”
Helen watched as I took two cloths out of my bag, made them into little pads, and then put one into each of their mouths, the edges sticking out – but I didn’t add any cleave gags or tape, I just left them there.
“Before I leave,” I said as I turned their television from the games console to the DVD player, “I’ll do what a real burglar does, but for now, keep those cloths in there, all right?”
Both Ali and Soo nodded as I started the film, and then said to Helen “come with me please.”
She looked at the girls and nodded as we left them watching the television, and I walked her upstairs to the main room.
“I should thank you that you were gentle with my daughters, and not a thug,” Helen said as I closed the door, “but I am still angry, and I am not going to tell you the combination to my safe.”
“I understand – but I need you to tell me,” I said quietly. I liked Helen – she had strong character, and I knew she was righteously angry, but I still wanted to rob her.
“No,” she said quietly, and I nodded as I said “very well then – turn around, and put your hands behind your back.”
As she did so, I took some more rope from my rucksack, and put her hands together, palm to palm, before I tied them tightly around her wrists, taking the rope around and between her arms before I tied it off, the knot out of reach of her fingers.
“Will you tell me the combination,” I said again as I sat her on the end of the bed. She just stared angrily at me and shook my head, so I nodded, took a small rubber ball from the bag, and said “open wide.”
She looked at me, but did open her mouth, as I pushed the ball in and then used some micropore tape over her mouth to keep it in place, before taking a large red headscarf from the bag, folding it into a band and tying that over her nose and mouth, her eyes watching me the whole time.
I then knelt down in front of her, and bound her ankles tightly together, then her legs below and above her knees, and around her thighs. More than I would usually do, but something told me the effect would be what mattered as she watched me cinch each band with the rope between her legs.
“Now, are you willing to tell me the combination to your safe?”
“Nnnn,” she said as she shook her head from side to side, then grunted as I made her lie face down, and tied her elbows together behind her back. As a final touch, I pulled her ankles right back, and tied her ankles to her wrists as well.
“Now,” I said as I looked at her, and stroked her hair away, “the combination please.”
“Nnnn,” she said again as she struggled on the bed.
Looking up, I saw above the bed a light fitting with a fan attached to it – and hanging from the middle of the arrangement was a single hook. I smiled under the stocking, and said “last chance – tell me.”
“Nfrr,” she mumbled, so I said “right” and tied one end of a longer length of rope to the middle of the rope between her wrists and ankles. She tried to watch as I stood on the bed, and fed the rope through the hook before I got off and walked to the bottom.
“I warned you,” I said as I then pulled on the loose end of the rope, Helen squealing as she was forced to arch her back, her head lifting from the bed as I pulled it right up, and then tied the loose end off to the foot of the bed.
“Now,” I said quietly, “you stay like that until such time as you are agreeable to telling me the combination. In the meantime, I’ll search the rest of the room.”
As I opened the first drawer, I heard Helen scream for all she was worth through the gag, and turned to see her twisting round from side to side, trying with all her might not only to get free, but to get the gag from her mouth. It was a sight to behold, as she screamed, and I was actually glad I could not make out everything she was saying – turning my attention instead to searching for jewellery boxes.
With some success, I must say, which just seemed to add fuel to her struggles. This went on for about twenty minutes, until I realised she had stopped shouting and screaming.
Turning round, I saw Helen looking at me, her forehead covered in sweat, her eyes glazed slightly over – but she wasn’t moving. Rather, she was relaxed, and as she looked at me she almost mewled “plssss.”
I walked over and untied the rope from the foot of the bed, allowing her to relax until her back was less bent before I tied the rope down to the band above her knees. I then went to the other side of the bed, untied the scarf, peeled the tape away and eased the ball from her mouth.
“All right,” she said quietly, “you win.” She gave me the combination to the safe, before I said “how do you feel?”
“Peaceful, funnily enough,” Helen said with a small smile, “I guess I got all the anger out of me – and I guess I have you to thank for that. Thank you also for allowing me to save face – to be able to say I put up a fight.”
“It was my pleasure – would you like the girls to join you now?”
She nodded slowly as I left her, and went down to the living room.
“Your mum wants her to join you now,” I said as I untied their legs, and helped them to stand, before I took the two cloths from their mouths.
“That was different,” Soo said quietly, “it tasted of clean water and kept us really quiet.”
“Are you really going to make sure all three of us can’t move or talk,” Ali said as I started to walk them up the stairs.
“Yes I really am – but remember, whatever you see and whatever I do, it’s still a game,” I said as we walked into the bedroom, and they saw their mother, tied on the bed with a rope up to the ceiling and back down again.
“Hello girls,” she said with a smile, “the lady robber has brought you up to be with me.
“Mum, you’re smiling – aren’t you angry anymore?”
“Not really Ali – the lady has helped me to get rid of all that anger in a safe way, and now I want us all to play the game together.”
“Good – we don’t like it when you’re angry mum,” Soo said as I looked at them.
“All right girls – can you lie each side of your mum, on your tummies, and I’ll make sure you can’t get off the bed.”
“Wow – you really are happy again mum,” Ali said as she lay to the left of her mother, and Soo to her right, the three of them talking while I crossed and re-tied the ankles of the two girls, and then tied their legs together below their knees, before I bent their legs and secured their ankles to the ropes around their arms.
“I need to take some things from the safe now,” I said as I knelt down, listening to the three of them talking as if nothing unusual was happening as I opened and emptied the contents of the safe into my bag.
“Now then,” I said as I knelt by the bed and looked at all three of them, “this bad robber needs to stop you all from calling to help, and make it as difficult as possible for you to start again. One by one, open your mouths, and I’m going to put a cloth in there to stop your tongue moving, before I put some special tape over your lips to keep the cloth in there.
“IT doesn’t hurt,” Helen said as she looked at her daughters, “actually, it tickles a little.”
The two girls nodded as I balled a pair of ankles socks up, and put one in each of their mouths, before tearing a fresh strip of white tape from the roll and smoothing it down over their mouths their lips visible under it.
“Why are you leaving me like this,” Helen said as she looked over her shoulder.
“Well, mummy had to be made to tell the bad robber the combination to the safe,” I said as I looked at the two girls, “so she left her like this to make sure she understood, and so the police knew she had put up a fight for her daughters. You mum is a very tough lady, and doesn’t need to fear anyone right?”
“Rhttt,” Ali and Soo said as they nodded, watching as I folded a bandana and put it in Helen’s mouth, before covering her closed lips with a strip of the tape as well, smoothing it down over her cheeks and lips.
“There now,” I said as I stood up and picked up my bag, “the bad robber is going to leave you alone now, and you can try and get free, or you can wait until someone comes to end the game. Do what you want to?”
All three nodded and started to try to talk to each other as I went downstairs, and out of the house.
A follow-up – a few weeks later, Steve and I were looking at his fan club, and we saw Ali and Soo talking about the games of cops and robbers they play with their mum after that visit.
They also said if their mum got angry now, they had permission to leave her as the ‘nice lady robber’ had left her, to allow her to get the anger out without upsetting them...
After some of the recent visits, I guess I was really looking forward to a nice, simple, no frills visit. So this particular Saturday morning, as I waited outside the suburban house and saw the Skoda Rapid pull out of the driveway, I knew this was going to be a good day to visit.
Behind the wheel of the car was Wilbur Jones, the owner of a very well known local hauliers, on his way to work, and I knew in the house at that moment was his wife Laura and his eleven year old daughter Maeve. I also knew Laura owned her own boutique in town, which opened at ten – and it was half seven now.
Which gave me an interesting and fixed window of opportunity, as I got out of the car and walked to the house, pulling on my gloves and then the stocking down over my head. There was a real chance that Laura and Maeve were still having their breakfast – and therefore I had to gain entry and start the game before one or the other went to get washed, or before the housekeeper turned up.
Getting in was easy enough – the back door was unlocked, and I barely had time to pull the stocking down over my head before Laura came in, wearing a very fetching pair of pale blue silk pyjamas. She took one look at me, smiling as I showed her my starting pistol, and then slowly nodded before she said “what do you want?”
“Well, if truth be told, I want to rob you,” I said calmly,” but as far as your daughter Maeve is concerned, that is a game you have organised – a challenge game, actually. I’ll explain as we go on, but for now, I need your word you will not scream or raise the alarm, all right?”
“You promise you will not hurt us?”
“I will inconvenience both of you, but I will not harm you,” I said as I took off my rucksack, opening it and taking out a length of rope. “Please, turn round and put your hands behind your back.”
Slowly, she turned round and allowed me to cross her wrists behind her back, and lash them together with the cord, making sure it was taken between her arms as well before I tied it off.
“Shall we,” I said as we walked into the front room. Maeve was lying on her stomach on the couch, wearing blue cotton pyjamas with a round neck, elasticised cuffs and a black tiger stripe pattern.
“This man,” Laura said, “is here to help us play a challenge game, Maeve. He’s going to make sure neither of us can move or talk, and then we have to see which of us can get free first. All right?”
“So he’s like a robber on a TV show?”
“Exactly,” I said, “but we’ll make it interesting. I’m going to use rope on your mummy, but I’m going to use tape on you. Ready?”
She nodded and stood up as I took a roll of black tape from my bag, and crossed her wrists behind her back, securing them and then taking the tape round her waist to keep them in place. I also took some rope from my bag and tied Laura’s wrists to her waist, before inviting them to sit next to each other on the couch.
I took care of Laura first – tying her arms to her side with ropes above and below her chest, and then walking round and kneeling down, crossing her ankles and binding them together before I secured her legs below her knees.
Maeve then had her arms taped to her body, above and below her elbows, before I secured her ankles and legs with bands of tape as well.
“Now then,” I said as I looked at them, “I need to...”
The woman who came in had greying blonde hair, and was wearing a grey jacket over a black and white striped top, black leggings and knee length black boots. She had a twelve year old girl with her, wearing a black leather jacket over a long black and white top, tights and trainers.
They both looked at me as I stood up and said “you must be the housekeeper – and is this your daughter?”
“My granddaughter – Mrs Jones?”
“Please, Ethel – we’re playing a game with this man. We want you to join in.”
She looked at me and nodded as I said “I may have to set a different challenge for both of you. For now, take your coats off, and let me make sure you can’t move your hands.”
“Just do as he says,” the housekeeper whispered as she took her coat off, and held her hands in front of her, the young girl watching as I tied her wrists together. She then took her own jacket off and watched as I tied her wrists together.
“I would like you both to sit on the floor, back to back,” I said, Maeve and Laura watching as I helped them to sit and then tied their bodies together with rope, before I tied their ankles and legs as I had with the other two.
“Now then – you and mummy are going to see who can get free first from your bands,” I said quietly, “while your housekeeper and her granddaughter are going to try and free each other. Before you start, however, I need to keep you all quiet. Open wide.”
Each of them got a folded cloth in their mouths, and white tape covering their lips, before I raided the place and then got out.
Like I said, nice and simple – for once. The next time, however...
If you are making a career of effectively doing robberies and making sure the younger kids think of it as a game, both Steve and I have had to accept the chance sometimes it means the mums in particular may be uncomfortable. We do try and avoid that as much as possible – sometimes even changing how we would secure them.
Case in point – one of the homes I had been looking at was actually from Steve’s files. It belonged to a couple in their early thirties – he ran wine merchants, and she was the daughter of one of the landed gentry. So in theory, plenty to find.
Steve had fairly complete files on them and their eleven year old daughter, but it had been a few months since he had updated. I still took the information however, and one Sunday afternoon found me outside their cottage outside town. From Steve’s notes, the chances were hubby was playing golf – and indeed, as the car pulled up and I watched Penny, the mother get out, that appeared to be the case.
She had her back to me, and was wearing a grey leopard print coat. Under the hem of the coat, I could see the black leggings and mid-length burgundy red flat boots she was wearing. Her auburn hair was cut short, unlike the blonde hair of her daughter Megan.
She had on a denim smock top with a patterned hem, jeans and brown cowboy boots, with a green floral hair pin in place as they both walked into the house. I waited a few minutes, taking several deep breaths, before getting out of the car and walking up the path. I had a grey rucksack with me, and all the supplies I thought I would need inside, and was dressed in my usual black outfit as well as the black stocking I pulled down over my head.
The front door was unlocked, so I let myself in and walked quietly down the corridor, listening for any noise – and then stopped as the door opened, and Penny came out. She had removed the coat, and I could see now the grey jersey dress she was wearing – as well as the quite visible bump on her stomach.
She saw me standing there as well, and glanced inside the room before she closed the door to. “Shit,” she then said quietly as she looked at me, “you’re that woman they reported on – one of the Games Players?”
“That’s right,” I said as I put my hand in my jacket pocket, gripping the starter’s pistol I had in there, “and I see you are expecting, so for both your sake and that of your children, please don’t scream or do anything stupid.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that,” Penny said quietly, “but if you’re going to tie us both up, I need to be comfortable as well. As a woman, you must understand that?”
“Actually, I do,” I said quietly, “and more than you might know. Will you help by telling Megan this is a game?”
Penny nodded slowly, before she said “jewels aren’t worth getting hurt over. I’ll tell you where everything is, if you leave us both in a way we’re not uncomfortable.”
I nodded to show I agreed, so she opened the door and said “Megan, I’m just going to the toilet. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
“All right Mum,” she called back, as Penny closed the door and indicated I should follow her up to the back bedrooms. She showed me her jewellery boxes, and apart from a few items she wanted to keep for sentimental reasons she allowed me to take the rest, as well as some money they had in a safe.
“Now,” I said as I put the last items away, “to make sure you and Megan play the game. I’ll let you talk first, all right?”
Penny nodded as we went back into the front room, where Megan was sitting watching the television. She turned and looked at her mother, and then me, before she pushed herself back in the chair and said “Mum, who is she?”
“It’s all right Megan,” Penny said, “your dad and I asked his colleague to come and play a game of cops and robbers with both of us. She’s the robber, and she’s going to stop us from being able to call the cops. Do you remember the film we watched where the bad guys kept the mum and daughter from their daddy for a while?”
“Yeah – I said that would be exciting if scary.”
“Well, that’s what we’re going to do now, so do what she tells you, all right?”
“All right Mum,” Megan said as I smiled under the stocking. “It’s all right Megan – you can keep watching the television – and when I’m finished, you’re going to be in control of it, all right?”
She nodded as I said “For now, just sit quietly on the chair there – I need to make sure your mother can’t move first.” Facing the television was an old fashioned wooden armchair, upholstered in red at the seat and back, and with the armrest open at the side.
“Sit in that chair,” I said to Penny, “get comfortable, and then put your hands on your head.”
I opened my rucksack as she sat down, took out a length of rope and tied it to where the back met the seat on one side, waiting until Penny was settled before I tied it round her hips, under the bump, and to the other side of the chair to hold her in place there. I then took it diagonally up the back, and around her upper chest and shoulders, before taking it in the opposite direction behind and then twice more round both parts.
“Comfy,” I asked as I tied the ends off. Penny wriggled round and said “It’s not pressing on junior, so I’ll cope.”
“Good – now, put your arms on the arm rest.”
As Penny did that, I tied her wrists down firmly to the armrests, and then her arms just before the elbow, taking the rope across her at both places so two bands were running across the seat above her.
Kneeling in front of her, I then tied her ankles together, Megan giggling as the rope squeaked on the leather, and then tied her legs together above and below her knees. The band above I took between her legs and tied off, but the one below I positioned to sit on top of her boots, and I left two long ends trailing after I had taken the rope between her legs.
“Now then Megan,” I said as I looked at the eleven year old, “your turn. I want you to come and sit in front of Mummy, and put your hands on your head as she did earlier.”
“All right,” she said as she sat down, and I used the long ends of rope around her body to secure her to Penny’s legs. As the rope tightened round her, she looked up at Penny and said “Hey Mum – I’m going to be staying here now.”
“That’s right Megan,” Penny said as she tried to move her legs to and fro, making Megan giggle as I crossed her wrists on front of her and tied them together with some rope.
“Let’s see if this makes a funny noise as well,” I said as I wrapped the rope next around Megan’s ankles, the tan leather squeaking as I pulled them tightly together, and then wrapped it around and between her legs before tying it off. I also tied her legs together below and above her knees, before tying her wrists to the nearest band of rope.
“Here you go,” I said as I handed Megan the remote, “as I promised, you get to control the television now, but before you start, I need to make sure you and your mummy can’t talk for a little while. I’m going to put something on your mouth that will stop you moving your lips – it doesn’t hurt, but you both need to keep nice and calm, and try not to struggle or laugh too much, all right?”
Megan nodded as I tore a strip of white micropore tape from the roll, and said “Big smile please.” As she did that, I smoothed the tape over her mouth, watching as she leaned her head back to look at her mum with the smile visible under the fabric.
“My turn,” Penny said, and she smiled as I gagged her in the same way, smoothing the fabric to the contours of her mouth and jaw.
“Wtwlwlwwsh,” Penny said as she looked at her daughter, Megan giggling as she selected a program – while I left the two of them in the room, and made my way back to my car, driving off and eventually informing the police of their situation.
I was recently enjoying a day at a rugby game at Wembley, and my team was winning by a fair margin, so I was in a good mood when we filed out, and I made my way to the local outlet mall to pick up a couple of things.
In fact, I was in such a good mood I decided to improvise a little – especially when I saw a woman and her daughter walk past carrying a number of designer bags. The woman was in her late thirties by my reckoning, with shoulder length blonde hair, and was wearing a long white jumper and jeans, the legs of which were tucked into a pair of knee length tan leather boots.
Her daughter was about eleven, and wore a diamond patterned jumper, blue denim shorts with black leggings underneath, and a pair of mid-calf grey boots with straps around them. She had short dark hair, and was looking very pleased with herself as they made their way to Wembley Park underground.
Well, I followed them no foot, and boarded the same Jubilee line train as them, getting off at Willesden Green station and then to one of the side streets. They stopped in front of a terraced house, mum letting them in as I watched, and no sign of a car outside.
The question was, were they alone in there? More to the point, what would I use if I visited them? Well, the adrenaline was starting to pump now, as I put a woollen hat on my head and walked up to the front door, adjusting my gloves and ringing the doorbell before I rang the doorbell and pulled the rim of my cap all the way down.
A few moments later, the door was opened by the mother who managed to say “Yes, can I...” before I pushed her back in, looking through the eyeholes of the balaclava mask as I grabbed her and put my gloved hand over her mouth.
“Stay calm, I’m not going to hurt you,” I said quietly as I slowly closed the door with my foot. “Now, I know you and your daughter are at home. Is anyone else?”
Watching carefully, I smiled as the blonde slowly moved her head from side to side.
“Good – are you expecting anyone else?”
Again, she moved her head from side to side as I said “Where is your daughter?”
“Pstrrsinhrbdrrmm,” I heard her mumble, her lips moving on my gloved hand.
“All right – walk with me to the kitchen,” I said as I pushed her forward, along the corridor and into the old style kitchen. As we went in, I said “if I take my hand away, will you scream or try to raise the alarm?”
She shook her head again, so I removed my hand and said “sit down, hands on your head, and don’t move.”
As she did this, she looked at me and said “Please, just take what you want and go...”
“Well, I will do,” I said quietly as I looked in cupboards, “but first I need to make sure you and your daughter can’t raise the alarm. To do that, I need to tie you both up, keep you quiet...”
“Oh god,” the woman whispered as I found some things I could use.
“But I don’t want to scare you or your daughter – so you are going to have to convince her that this is a game you’ve organised for her.”
“You’re the Games Player?”
I nodded as I held up three new cotton clothes lines. “So, will you do that?”
As she nodded, I put the skeins of rope on the table, and then found a pair of kitchen scissors. “Good,” I said as I opened one pack, measured a length out and cut it loose, “then stand up, and put your hands behind your back.”
“You promise you won’t hurt her or me,” she said as I crossed her wrists, and tied them snugly together.
“I promise,” I said as I played out some more rope, cut it free and then used it to bind her arms to her sides, going above and below her chest. “Out of curiosity, why do you have so many lengths of clothes line here?”
“My mother,” she gasped as I pulled the ropes tighter, “always taught me to have spares of everything, just in case.”
“Wise woman,” I said as I pulled the ropes again, and then tied them off behind her back. “All right – why don’t we go into the front room, and then you can call your daughter down?”
She nodded as I led her through to a very comfortable living room, and waited as she said “Henrietta, would you come downstairs please?”
I waited as we both head footsteps, and then her daughter came in – stopping short as she saw me holding her mother’s arm.
“Don’t panic, darling,” she said as she looked at her daughter, “this man has come to play a game of robbers with us.”
She looked at me, and then her mum, before she said “A game of robbers? All right – but you know the rules when we play games Mum. We have to be treated equally, whatever the contest.”
“Oh – so you don’t like it when people treat you differently because you’re younger?”
“No I don’t,” she said as she looked at me, while her mother was quietly shaking her head, “so what are you going to do about it?”
“Exactly what I have already down to your mother,” I said with a smile as I nodded to a chair. “Sit down, my dear, while I make sure Henrietta is exactly like you.”
“Do you have to,” she said as she tried to move her arms.
“I’m afraid I do,” I said as I put the ropes on a low table, cut another length off, and invited the young lady to stand in front of me while I crossed and lashed her wrists together behind her back. As I then wrapped the rope around her body to hold her arms to her side, she looked at her mother and said “I bet I can get free from this before you do.”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to say that, dear,” her mum said as she looked at me.
“Oh I agree that you should try to get free – when I give the word,” I said with a smile, as the white rope sat snugly above and below her chest, and I tied it off behind her, “but I’m not finished yet. Go and sit next to your mother, Henrietta.”
As she sat down, I cut four lengths of rope from the next skein, and knelt in front of them, both watching as I first crossed and tied together the older woman’s ankles, and then her legs below her knees, the rope squeaking on the brown leather. I then moved over and crossed Henrietta’s ankles, tying them tightly together, and then her legs over her black leggings and below her knees as well.
“Now then,” I said as I stood up, “are you going to be quiet while I pretend to have a look round?”
“No,” Henrietta said as she swung her legs to and fro, “I’ll scream and try to get free.”
“Then I may have to stop you.”
Looking out in the hallway, I left for a moment, returning with two of her mother’s scarves. Tying a knot in the middle of one, I came back in and said to her mother “I need to stop you both talking, so open your mouth please.”
She looked at Henrietta, before she allowed me to put the silk knot in her mouth, and wind the scarf twice round her head before tying the ends together at the base of her neck. As for her daughter, I rolled the silk square into a band, tied a knot in the middle of that, and then used that in her mouth, taking the band around her head and tying the ends together at the base of her neck.
“Hmggdduddtt,” Henrietta said, as she looked at her mother, while I left them alone and did a search of the house. When I came back, I saw they were back to back, and trying to untie each other.
“Naughty,” I said as I made Henrietta lie on the couch, her head on her mother’s lap, and bent her legs back, moving behind the couch before I tied her ankles to the ropes around her mother’s body.
“Whdduddthtt,” he mum asked as she wriggled round.
“Makes it more difficult,” I said as I looked at them both, “I’ll make sure someone comes to your rescue if you can’t get free.”
She stared at me for a moment, and then nodded as I left the house, suitably rewarded...