Mother and Daughter Moments 27
I was asked by Steve to tell you about the time I paid a visit to a single mother and her daughter in Brixton – a visit which was a little unusual in a number of ways. The mother was Laura Soul, a woman of Jamaican descent who had appeared on a number of local news programs recently because of her books based in her home country. I had read one or two of them – good solid work, and as a result she was slightly better off than before.
She lived off the main town centre, with her twelve year old daughter Gale, and on this particular Saturday I walked past their house to take one last look. Their Smart car was parked outside, but there were no other vehicles, so I presumed there was nobody else at home. I was dressed in my usual fare for visits – a brown leather jacket, jumper and pants with knee length brown leather boots. Walking up the driveway, I slipped my leather gloves on as I walked around to the back door, and then pulled the stocking down over my head before I opened the door.
As I came in, I could hear music from upstairs – but even I could tell it was not normal pop music. Oh it had a beat, and it was a young woman singing – but it was in Japanese by the sound of it. Looking round the kitchen, I could also see the cooking implements that were out were designed for Eastern cooking.
Walking out into the hallway, I could also hear Japanese music – a more traditional style, coming from the front room. Stopping by the door to that room, I looked in to see Laura sitting on a mat on the floor in the lotus position. She was wearing a long sleeved Iron Maiden sweatshirt, grey striped pants and a pair of black felt ankle boots – but I could see the design had a small cleft between the big toe and the rest of the toes. She wore a pair of steel rimmed glasses and her dark hair was in corn rows – but she had her eyes closed, and she was obviously meditating.
So I slipped in, and stood in front of her, waiting until she opened her eyes and looked at me, opening them wide as I put my finger to my lips. “No shouting,” I said quietly as I showed her my pistol, “is your daughter upstairs?”
“Yes,” she said quietly as she nodded.
“Good – here’s the deal,” I said quietly. “I am here to rob you, but if you do as I say, then neither you nor your daughter will be harmed. I will make sure you are restrained and cannot raise the alarm, but that is all – and if you follow my lead, your daughter will not be afraid.”
“That’s right,” I said quietly. “You are going to tell her this is a game you have arranged, and that you are both going to play. Do that, it will be less stressful for both of you.” Looking round the room, I said “I see you have a love for Japan.”
“Yes – so what are you going to do?”
“First,” I said as I slipped my rucksack off, “I need you to stand up, turn round and put your hands behind your back. Once I have your arms secured, then we will go and look through your rooms, before we tell your daughter what is going on…”
“Thank you,” I said as I emptied the last of the contents of the jewellery cases into the velvet sack. Laura was sitting on her bed, her wrists crossed and secured behind her back and bands of rope holding her arms to her sides, sitting above and below her chest, cinched between her arms and bodies with shorter lengths.
“So what happens now,” she said as I put the bag into my rucksack.
“We go and visit your daughter,” I said as I helped her to stand up, and we walked to the bedroom the pop music was coming from. As I opened the door, Laura walked in and said “Gale, can you look at me for a moment please?”
The twelve year old turned round and looked at us, her eyes wide under her pink rimmed glasses as she said “oh my god…” She was wearing a short sleeved pink smock top over a long sleeved peach top, and under that I could see a black t-shirt. Her blue jeans were turned up at the bottom, but I could see she was wearing a pair of slippers designed to look like a cow’s skin – but with the same design of shoe as Laura’s boots. Her dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail.
“Gale,” Laura said, “this lady is a friend who has come to pretend to be a robber, and play a games with us. Have a look at what she has done to me.”
Gale came over and walked round her mother, before she said “does it hurt Mum?”
“No – it’s like you giving me a great big hug, but she is going to do this to your now as well.”
Gale nodded as I walked behind her, took some cord from my rucksack, crossed her wrists behind her back and started to bind them tightly together. As I did so, Laura told her we would go back to the front room, and I was going to leave them there unable to move or call for help while she pretended to take some things from them.
“Will we be able to watch Spirited Away,” she said as I took a longer length of rope out, and started to bind her arms to her sides in the same way as her mother.
“You like Studio Giblih,” I said as I pulled her arms into her sides, and then tied the ropes off, before using two shorter lengths to cinch the bands.
“I do – and you’re right Mum, it’s like having a big hug.”
“Right then,” I said quietly, “let’s go downstairs.” I followed both of them down into the front room, closing the curtains as Laura sat in the lotus position on the floor, and Gale sat in a futon. Walking over again, I knelt by Gale’s side and she watched as I crossed and tied her ankles tightly together. Another length held her legs together below her knees, before I walked to Laura and secured her ankles to her legs as she sat on the floor.
“Now let me put the television on,” I said as I started the set up, found their online library and selected the film, before taking two bandanas from my bag, rolling them into thick bands and tying knots in the middle. As they opened their mouths, I gagged both of them, Gale lying on her side as her mother nodded – and I left…
It certainly was not the first time I had planned to visit a farmhouse or a stables – they provide good opportunities, given their isolation, and also the fact that those who live in such places seem to adapt more easily to playing the sort of games that are needed for me to do my work.
This particular farmhouse wasn’t really a working farm, but the home for a manager of a stockbrokerage in the city. His name was Frank Wishaw, and he lived in the farmhouse with his wife Anne and their eleven year old daughter Vanessa. I happened to know this particular weekend – because I had done the research – he was at a UK manager’s meeting, which gave me the opportunity to visit.
I can easily illustrate how much in the country this house was – the Saturday morning found me in the car park of Budgens, a supermarket you only find in country towns, watching Anne and Vanessa as they loaded up their car with the shopping. Anne had copper red hair cut to frame her face, and was wearing a black leather biker’s jacket over a round necked cream sweater, black leggings and knee length black riding boots. By contrast, Vanessa had long blonde hair, and was wearing a white furry jacket over a black jumper, grey jeans and black knee length shiny leather boots.
So, they closed the back of their Chelsea Tractor, both got in the front and drove off, with me following a safe distance behind. It took about forty minutes to get to the farmhouse, and I drove past as they pulled in at the front of the thatched building.
I had driven round earlier, so I knew there was a farm track a little further down the road that I could use to drive to the back of the house. So I did just that, parked the car, got my rucksack from the back of the car and then made my way slowly to a hedge that ran around the back of the building. There was a gap I managed to get through, and as I pulled the stocking down over my head I saw the door to the kitchen.
Making my way quickly over, I took a moment to catch my breath, and then quickly opened the door – surprising both Anne and Vanessa as they sat at the wooden table in the kitchen, having a drink.
“OH my god,” Anne called out as she jumped up and stood behind Vanessa’s chair, “what do you want?”
“YOU’RE THE GAMES PLAYER!!!”
Both Anne and I looked at Vanessa as she beamed, her grin from ear to ear. “It is you, isn’t it? Wow, I’ve seen the stories on the message board, but I never…”
“Perhaps you should sit down, Mrs Wishaw,” I said quietly, “yes, I am the Games Player Vanessa. Why don’t you tell your mummy what’s going to happen?”
“Mummy,” Vanessa said, “this is the man who robs families, but makes it like a real game. Celia showed me a message board where the kids he and his partner have visited talk about what happened.”
“You know what he is going to do?”
“I do Mummy – but it’s a real honour he picked us. You are going to make it a game, aren’t you Mister Player?”
“Well, of course I am,” I said with a smile. “Yes, Mrs Wishaw, it does mean I’m going to tie you and your daughter up, and make sure you can’t raise the alarm, but it can be just like a game if you treat it that way.”
“All… All right,” Anne finally said, “what do you want me to do?”
“Well, as you know what I’m going to do, let’s make sure neither of you can move,” I said, “Finish your drinks, and then I want you both to put your hands behind your back.”
Vanessa was first, Anne watching as I crossed her daughter’s wrists behind her back and tied them firmly together, and then rook a longer length of rope from my rucksack, using it to secure her arms to her sides with a band round her stomach and another round her upper arms.
“See Mummy,” she said as I tied the ropes off, and then cinched them with two shorter lengths under her arms, “it really doesn’t hurt.” Anne looked at me, and then put her own hands behind her back, the rope squeaking as I secured them and then bound her arms to her sides, he jacket moving to the sides as I did so.
“Now then,” I said, “is there somewhere I can leave both of you where you can be…”
I suddenly looked to the door where a ten year old girl was standing, wearing a blue denim military style jacket over a long pink t-shirt, blue jeans and black Ugg boots.
“Oh my,” she said as she looked at me, her brown hair in two bunches, “Ness, is this…”
“Yes it is Celia,” Vanessa said as she grinned, “come and see what he’s done to me?”
She walked over and looked at the ropes round Vanessa’s upper body, and then said “wow – will you do that to me as well?”
“Let me ask a question first – is your mother with you?”
“Yeah – she’ll be in once she locks the car,” Celia said.
“All right, then put your hands behind your back for me…”
A few minutes later, a second woman about the same age as Anne walked in, wearing a similar jumper with a long wool scarf wrapped round her neck, blue jeans and knee length sand coloured leather boots. “Hey Anne,” she said as she came in, “I hoped you would…” She stopped as she saw me with my hand on her daughter’s shoulder, as Celia said “Mum, look who’s already here! The Games Player!”
“Oh my god,” she said quietly, “I thought they were all stories.”
“They’re not stories, Sharon,” Anne said as she wriggled round, “he’s very real, and he’s robbing me. We need to make this a big game for the girls, all right?”
Sharon watched as I took more rope out and walked over, guiding her wrists behind her back and securing them together, before I used a longer length to fix her arms to her body. Once I had done the same thing to Celia, I said “now, I was asking Vanessa if there is somewhere all four of you can stay and be amused while I find nice things to steal.”
“Will you steal from me as well? I’d like that,” Vanessa said.
“If you wish?”
“Let’s go the games room – we can watch television there,” Vanessa said as she stood up, leading the way to a large room with two recliners, and cushions on the floor. I indicated to the mothers that should sit on the recliners, and told Vanessa and Celia to make themselves comfortable on the floor.
While they did that, I took more ropes and secure Anne’s ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees, then did the same to Sharon. As I tied the rope off between her legs, Vanessa said “make sure we really cannot move around.”
“No – if that is what she wants, that is what she shall have,” I said a sI used two more ropes to secure the ankles of their mothers to the legs of the recliners, and then went to where the two girls were lying face down on some cushions on the floor, looking at the television screen. I started by crossing and binding their ankles, the rope squeaking on Vanessa’s boots and sinking into the soft felt of Celia’s. I then tied the legs of both girls below their knees, before I pulled their ankles back and tied them to the chest ropes.
“This is great,” Celia said, “we really cannot move – can you fix it so we cannot talk as well? Really cannot talk?”
I looked at their mothers, who shrugged as they accepted situation, so I did the works – a folded cloth in the mouth of each of them, then a knotted strip of towelling pulled between their teeth to keep the gags in place, and then the special white tape wrapped round their heads, to make them really quiet.
Turning the television on, I found the Disney XD channel and left them to watch as I searched the house – and because she asked, I took some of Vanessa’s jewellery as well. Coming back to the room, I checked the ropes and gags, and then left them with a promise to let the police know where they were.
Once I was far enough away…
Hey – new member, wondering if you would like to hear my story?
Welcome Chloe – and of course we want to her your story. Tell us something about yourself first though.
Well, I’m eleven years old, and I live in a big house with my mummy. My daddy works abroad, and I miss him terribly, but mummy’s great and lets me have some friends round all the time. She also lets me have sleepovers – and it was a sleepover a few weeks ago when she came.
I had three friends round – Amy, Blair and Dani. We had been playing games on the PlayStation for a couple of hours when mummy came into my room with Pizzas and Coke.
What were you all wearing?
Well, I had on a pink long sleeved top with a V-neck, plaid shorts, white tights and pink socks. Amy had on a black t-shirt with a funny design on the front, a white long sleeved top under that, grey jeans and short black felt boots. Blair was wearing a black and white tiger skin top and black jeans. Dani had on a black jumper, a black skirt with a purple frilly hem and sparkles, black tights and shoes.
Mummy had been at the office all day – she was wearing a purple tank top over a green striped blouse, a long green skirt and brown leather boots.
So your mummy brought you in pizza and Coke?
That’s right – and we were eating, wondering what film we were going to watch next, when I heard the front doorbell ring. I wasn’t really worried – mummy would find out who it was and then we had the night to ourselves.
Well, a little while later there was a knock on my door, and mummy said she needed to come in, she had a surprise for us. We all looked at the door as she came in – and she was right. She did have a surprise for us.
The woman with her was taller, and wore a brown leather jacket fastened at the neck, brown trousers and knee length boots – but she had something covering her head that pressed her head down and made her face difficult to see. Mummy said this was an actress she had employed to play a special game with us.
A game of Robbers, right? You met the Female Games Player!
I didn’t know it at the time, but yes, it was her. Mummy said she was going to explain what was going to happen, and hoped we would all play along. I asked if we were still going to see a film, and the lady said we would – but she was pretending to be a robber, so she would have to make sure we could not call the police or raise the alarm.
I looked at the others, and then said as the nodded we would love to play along. The Player smiled, and said if we needed to go to the toilet, now was the time. So we all ran to the toilet, taking turns, before we came back in.
When we came back, I saw Mummy had her hands behind her back, and we all walked round to see the Player had crossed and tied her wrists together with white rope. Mummy said she had done this to make sure she did what the masked woman said, and all four of us were going to have the same thing done to us now.
I love that part – when he or she starts to tie you up as a game. Who went first?
I said I’d go first, the other three watching as the Player took a length of white cord from her pocket, knelt behind me, crossed my wrists and started to tie them together. It felt really snug and comfy – especially when she put the rope between my wrists as well. After she had tied it off, she smiled as I wriggled my fingers – and then the others had their wrists tied in the same way.
She then said she need to really make sure we could not move our arms and legs, but to do that we needed to go down to the front room. So we walked down the stairs – mummy first, then us, and the Player behind us. When we walked into the room, I could see a rucksack on the coffee table, and as Mummy sat down in a chair we all sat in a line on the long couch.
She took a length of white rope from the bag, and asked Dani to stand up and face all of us. As she did, she went behind my friend and wrapped the rope around her, pulling her arms into her sides as she made a band around her stomach, and one around her upper arms. She then did something behind her back, which made Dani giggle, before she passed the rope between her right arm and her body, took it up and around the back of her neck while holding her blonde hair up, and then under the other arm.
Did Dani tell you how it felt?
She said she felt like she was been hugged, as she sat down, and one by one the Player tied our arms to our sides in the same way. Then she took more ropes from her bag, and tied our legs together, below our knees and around our ankles, taking the rope around and between our legs each time. I remember swinging my legs up and down when she had done mine, and then talking to the girls about how different it felt.
Anyway, I asked if she was going to do the same to mummy, and she said she would, taking a longer length of rope as mummy stood up, and then binding her arms to her sides as she had done to us. I saw mummy squirming a little as this was been done, bit when it was finished she looked just like us.
The Player then said she and mummy were going to walk round the house, as if she was really stealing things, but we could watch our film while she did this. She then asked if we were all going to be good girls and not scream for help, and we all said we would. With that, she put on the Blu-ray player, and we all started to watch High School Musical as she took mummy out of the room.
She didn’t do something to stop you talking?
Not at that point, no – we watched the film, sang along and talked to each other. After all, we were all playing the game at this point.
Mummy came back with the player about half way through the film, and I saw that she now had some sort of white tape over her mouth. She tried to talk to us, but it was a mumble, so the Player told us she was all right, and asked if we were as she paused the film. The really funny thing was I could see her lips moving under the tape, but could not understand her.
We all said we were as the Player helped mummy to sit in the armchair, and then crossed her ankles before she tied them together, the rope and her boots squeaking which made us giggle as well. She then lifted mummy’s skirt back and tied her legs together below her knees, before she stood up and looked at us.
She asked if we thought mummy sounded funny, and we all nodded. That was when she said the next part of the game was to make it so that we sounded just like mummy.
I love that part as well – when they make sure we stay quiet. What did she do to all of you?
Well, once we all said yes, she took from her bag four squares of cloth, which she folded into pads, and then told us all to open our mouths. The cloth she put into my mouth felt very funny as she pushed it in, pressing my tongue down, but I closed my lips over it and waited as the others did the same, mummy watching all the time.
She then took from her pocket the roll of white tape, and it made a funny squishy sound as she peeled some away and tore it free. Holding it in both hands, she smiled as she put it over my mouth, and then smoothed it onto my face.
How did it feel?
Strange – it was soft, but as she pressed it on I felt to form to the shape of my face. When she had finished, I tried to open my mouth, but the tape kept my lips tightly closed. I could move them, but the tape moved with them as well.
Anyway, he put the tape over Amy, Blair and Dani’s mouths, and then asked us to try and talk. Well, we all sounded the same, as she said she had a challenge for us. She wanted us all to stay still and quiet and watch the rest of the film, while she hid somewhere in the house. When the film finished, we should then try and get free, and the first person to get free can try to find her.
We all nodded at that, so she re-started the film, and left the room. We played along, and then as the credits started we started to try and get free.
Did you manage?
Actually, it was Amy – she managed to get her hands free, bring her arms round, and then untied my wrists and arms. The ropes fell done me, and then I untied my legs before I peeled the tape from my mouth, and spat out the very wet cloth.
Mummy motioned for me to come over, and I peeled the tape from her mouth. There was a red edge of cloth between her lips, and as she opened it I pulled out one of her scarves. She coughed for a minute, and told me to get her mobile phone – that had been a real robber!
The police came after we had released each other, and talked to us, before the parents of my friends came and took them home.
That sounds like a fun night – have you done anything like that since?
Oh yes – Blair and I are both tied and tape gagged now, and I’m typing this with my wrists tied together in front of me…
Sometimes, the concept of mothers and daughters dressing alike throws up some – interesting scenarios. Three weeks ago, I was waiting one evening outside the home of Jeff and Betty Carter in a Midlands town. Jeff is the area manager for a large supermarket chain, while Betty is a headmistress at a local school. They have a thirteen year old daughter called Yvette – and a very nice collection of coins that I felt needed to be taken elsewhere.
It was the afternoon, and I knew from my research Jeff was visiting some branches a distance from his home – which made this the perfect time to pay a visit. So I looked around the area, and got out of the car, walking quickly up to the garage and letting myself in through the side door.
I could hear music in the kitchen, so after I had prepared myself with gloves and sticking mask, I looked in the kitchen – and there as Betty, her long brown hair falling over her shoulders. She was wearing a brown short leather jacket over a dusky pink t-shirt, jeans – and a pair of over the knee burgundy leather boots with three inch heels. She also had a pair of steel hoop earrings on, and was obviously looking for something.
So I slipped in ad stood, gun in hand, until she closed the fridge door, looked at me, and said “what the…”
“I think you should put that food on the table before you drop it,” I said quietly, watching as she placed the meat and butter on the wooden table. “Now – where is your daughter, Mrs Carter?”
“Yvette? She… She’s upstairs… OH god, what are you going to do to us?”
“Nothing – except make it difficult for you or your daughter to raise the alarm,” I said quietly, “so long as you follow my lead. I want you to prepare her lunch, and yours, and then call her down. You can tell her I’m here to play a game of kidnap or robbers with her and you – your choice.”
“All right, all right – just don’t hurt us,” Betty said as I watched her, the gun in my hand as she prepared two sandwiches. I then invited her to sit down, before I took some rope from my rucksack, tied her waist to the chair and her ankles to the front legs.
“Now,” I said quietly, “call Yvette down.”
“Yvette,” Betty called out, “lunch is ready.”
“Coming Mum,” I heard her say as I put my gloved hand over Betty’s mouth, watching as her daughter came in. Her long brown hair was in a plait, and she was wearing a black cowl necked t-shirt with sequins on it, denim shorts over purple tights, and over the knee tight black leather boots.
“So what are we…”
“Hello Yvette,” I said as I smiled under the stocking mask, “your mum and dad have booked me to play a game of kidnap with you and your mother. Will you play with us?”
Betty looked up at me, and then nodded as Yvette said “Kidnap? You’re a robber aren’t you?”
At times like these, honesty is best, so I said “yes I am – so sit down, and I’m going to tie you to the chair before you eat.”
She looked at me, and then said “cool”, sitting in the chair and raising her arms so that I could tie her waist to the chair, and then putting her ankles against the front legs as I secured them. She then began to eat as Betty said “he’s going to make sure we can’t raise the alarm, Yvette.”
“Will you tie us up so we can’t move,” Yvette said, and when I nodded she said “good thing we do Yoga then mum – relax, he’s got the gun, and we may as well do as he says.”
So they both ate their sandwiches as I sorted out some more rope, figuring I may as well take care of their arms once they had finished. Eventually, Betty said “are you finished?”
“Yes, Mum,” Yvette said as she rolled her eyes, “so what happens now Mister Robber?”
“I want you to lean forward,” I said as I picked up the first length of rope and walked behind her, “and cross your wrists behind your back.” I’d already decided they were going to be the next members of the TTTT club.
As she leaned forward, I used the rope to secure her wrists tightly together, as always taking the rope around and between her wrists, before I untied her from the chair. As she stood up, I took from my bag a roll of duct tape, and used it to tape her fingers together – and then started to wrap a much longer length of rope around her arms and body, pulling them into her sides as I took the rope above and below her chest.
“Please – she’s only thirteen,” Betty said as I pulled the ropes tighter, but as Yvette said “it’s all right Mum,” I took the rope between the band behind her, then under one arm, up and around the back of her neck, then under the other arm before tying the ends off. As she wriggled round, I released both of them from the chairs and waited as they stood up.
“So, Mrs Carter,” I said as I picked up my bag, “take me to your safe please, and then you can open it.”
“All right,” Betty said as she walked first, me following with one hand on Yvette’s arm, and the other carrying the bag.
“This is actually nice,” she said as she walked along, “almost comforting. What will you do when Mum opens the safe?”
“Bind her arms as well – after that, you will see,” I said as we went into an office, and Betty moved a painting, revealing a wall safe which she quickly opened.
“Good,” I said as I made Yvette kneel down, “come her, turn round, and put your hands behind your back.”
A few minutes later, both Yvette and Betty watched as I emptied the contents of the safe into my bag. Betty also had her wrists and arms bound like her daughter, and her fingers taped together, as I looked at the coins and put them in.
“Thank you,” I said, “now we go upstairs, and you tell me where you keep your jewellery. Your room first, Yvette.”
I helped them both to stand and walked them up the stairs, smiling as we entered a large room with posters on the wall. Directing them to sit on the bed, I took two more lengths of rope from my bag and knelt in front on Yvette, crossing and binding her ankles tightly together, and then securing her legs below her knees, the rope going between her legs in both places. As she tried to move, her leather boots squeaked making her giggle as well.
I then said “so Yvette – your jewellery boxes?”
“In the top drawer,” she said as I looked and said “good.” Emptying the contents into my bag, I said “now I need to keep you quiet – really quiet.” From the bag, I took a clear plastic bag and a roll of white tape, before I said “open your mouth as wide as you can.”
As Yvette did so, I pushed a compressed sponge into her mouth, and then pulled a knotted strip of towel between her lips to keep it in. I then tore the end of the roll of white tape free, and wrapped it tightly round her head, covering her lips and the cleave gag as I did so. It took several turns before I completed the winding, and then as Betty stood up I helped her daughter to lie face down on her bed, pulling her legs back so that the heels of her boots were resting on her shorts. A length of rope to secure them to her chest ropes, and I said “now don’t move” as I took Betty out. I could hear her move of course – the squeak of leather told me that.
“Now,” I said as we went into the master bedroom, “your jewellery, if you would be so kind.”
Thirty minutes later, I secured the mother’s ankles to her chest ropes, as she turned and looked at me over the white band. “Have fun,” I said as I left her, and checked on Yvette, before leaving the house…
I know Steve has visited Southall on a number of occasions, but this particular visit I wished to make actually took me to the Brick Lane area of the East end of London, there to visit the home of Qira Patel. Her husband owned a chain of high end jewellery stores, and we both felt it would be a profitable visit. Our research showed her husband tended to work the later shifts, which left her at home a lot in the evenings with their ten year old daughter Eka.
So it was, one particular evening at about seven o’clock, I was walking from the tube station – parking around there is a nightmare – with the collar of my brown bomber jacket turned up and a brown woollen hat covering my hair, a rucksack on my back as I approached the road they lived on. It was a nice, quiet, tree lined avenue, so I was able to slip up to the front of the house fairly easily. All I had to do for once was reach up and pull down the stocking over my head from where it was under the hat, put on my gloves – and ring the front door bell.
To my surprise, it was Eka who opened the door. She had her long dark hair plaited into a pigtail, and was wearing a purple see through dress, with a polka dot top and a short patterned skirt. Under the dress she was wearing a dark purple vest top and light purple leggings, and on her feet were a pair of sandals with the same shade of purple as her leggings for the straps.
She looked at me, and said “who are you?”
“I’m someone your mummy and daddy has asked to come and play a game of robbers with you and your mummy,” I said quietly, “it’s a surprise for you. So would you like to start playing along now?”
She looked closely at me again, and then said “what would I have to do?”
“Let me come in – I’ll put my hand over your mouth, and we can surprise your mummy by showing her the game has already started Eka.”
“Who is it Eka,” I heard Qira call out, so Eka nodded and let me in, closing the door before I stood behind her and put my gloved hand over her mouth, my other hand on her shoulder.
“Eka, why won’t you…” Qira came into the hallway and stopped as she looked at me. She was traditionally dressed, wearing a long green tunic with orange and brown trim, crimson loose fitting pantaloons, and sandals, and her orange dupatta was over her left shoulder.
“Hello Qira,” I said, “Eka here wanted to start the game of Robbers right away. I hope you don’t mind?”
“Sllrlrtmmshtldm,” Eka mumbled under my hand as Qira looked at me, and then said “of course it’s all right – I had forgotten we were playing this game tonight.” Putting her hands in the air, she said “we’ll do whatever you say, just don’t hurt us?”
“I have no intention of hurting you,” I said as I smiled under my stocking mask, “but first things first. Why don’t we all go into the front room, and while your mummy pulls the drapes over the windows I can tell you what’s going to happen Eka?”
“Plsssmm,” the little girl said as Qira nodded and led the way to the front room, closing the curtains as I took my hand from Eka’s mouth. They both sat on the couch, Qira with her arms around her daughter as I sat down.
“So this is how the game of Robbers goes Eka,” I said quietly. “I am pretending to be a robber, and I have to make sure your mummy tells me where everything is. To do that, I am going to tie your arms and legs, and leave you on the couch while we walk round the house. When we come back, your mummy will be made the same as you, and I will also do something to stop you both from raising the alarm. But it’s all a game, so nothing really bad is going to happen, all right?”
Eka nodded as Qira said “so the masked lady is going to make sure you stay on this couch. You can watch some television for a while – if that’s is all right?”
“That’s fine – so come and stand in front of me Eka, with your arms by your side.”
She walked over and stood, talking to her mother as I crossed her wrists behind her back, and then used some rope to secure them tightly together. I then wound some rope around her arms and stomach in a double figure of eight, so that they were locked in place.
“I can’t move my hands and arms mummy,” she said as she twisted round, Qira nodding as she walked over and sat next to her mother. I then knelt down, crossed and tied her ankles together, and then tied her legs together below her knees. As Qira stood up, I put a cushion on the chair and helped Eka to lie down with her head there, before I said to Qira “come and show me your lovely house.
Eka wriggled round to watch the television as we went up the stairs, Qira saying “I have heard of you and your partner – you make it a game for the children. Thank you.”
“Thank you for playing along,” I said as we reached the top of the stairs, “now, cross your wrists behind your back please.” As she did so, I took the length of cord I had in my pocket and secured her wrists together, before I said “Each room in turn, and tell me where things are in there…”
Thirty minutes later, Eka looked up as we came back in, and said “You can’t move your hands either, can you mummy?”
“No I can’t Qira said with a smile as I took more rope from my rucksack, “and soon I will not be able to move my arms and legs either.” As she spoke, I wound the rope around her upper body, above and below her chest as her outfit stretched over it, and fixing the dupatta to her side as a result.
When I had secured her arms, I helped Eka to sit up for a moment while Qira took her seat, and then crossed and secured her ankles before I secured her legs together below her own knees. As I did this, she leaned over and kissed Eka’s forehead, saying “are you enjoying the game so far?”
“I am mummy – but how will she make sure we stay quiet?”
“I’ll show you now,” I said as I tied the ropes off, and then helped Eka to rest her head on her mother’s lap. Looking in the bag, I took out the roll of white tape, and tore off a strip before I held it in both hands, and said “look at what happens when I put this over your mummy’s mouth.”
Eka looked up as I pressed and smoothed the tape over Qira’s mouth, the shape of her lips visible underneath as she asked “can you say something mummy?”
“Eccnnttrke,” she said, Eka giggling as she saw her mother’s lips move, but no real words. She then nodded and closed her mouth as I taped her lips over as well, looking up at her mother as I left, collected my bag, and made my way home…
There is an old saying in some circles that the family that prays together stays together. When I recently paid a visit to the home of one particular minister, that certainly proved to be true…
Now, as a rule, families of ministers of religion are off the list as a matter of principal, but for the Right Revered John McLean, I could make an exception on two grounds. One, he was also a collector of rare stamps. Two – he was a bigot, who was a very vocal critic on television shows of same sex marriages and other religions. Not the greatest example of the Christian doctrine of Love Thy Neighbour as God loves you, in my book.
At the same time, his wife and two daughters I felt were blameless in this. Jean McLean was in her early forties, with shoulder length dark hair, while Ginny and Moira were thirteen and eleven respectively, both with long hair the same sandy brown as their father. I had arranged to spend the weekend in their town of residence, in the Border country, and on the Saturday afternoon I was watching as Jean kissed her husband goodbye, before he got into the taxi that would take him to the station, and hence to London.
From what I could see, she was wearing a peach coloured knitted cardigan over a grey dress, dark grey tights and what looked like a pair of dark grey fashion wellingtons. She also had one of those chunky bead necklaces on, and dark rimmed glasses. Smiling, I took the time to check my bag as she closed the door, and then slipped out, putting my rucksack on my back as I walked up to the side of the manse.
I was dressed as I usually do for these visits – black jacket, jumper and jeans, dark trainers, and black leather gloves. As I looked round the wall to the rear garden, I saw Jean pegging some washing out on the line that hung across their lawn – which explained what I could now see were fashion wellingtons. As her back was turned, I used the opportunity to slip into the house, across the kitchen and into the front room.
By the sound of things, there was nobody else home – I had seen Ginny and Moira slip out earlier, so I felt I had time to make my preparations…
By the time Jean had finished hanging the washing out, and made herself a drink, I was ready – so when she came into her front room, to find her curtains drawn, and me sitting with the stocking over my head and the starting pistol in my hand, she was taken completely by surprise.
“Good afternoon Mrs McLean,” I said quietly, “please, sit and have your coffee – you look as if you need it.”
“As would you if a masked man holding a gun was in your house,” she said as she sat down, “who are you, and what are you doing here?”
“The press like to refer to me as the Games Player,” I said with a smile, “and as to why I am here – well, it has a lot to do with your husband’s stamp collection, and a little to do with a lesson in humility for him.”
“I see,” she said as she sipped her coffee, “so this is a robbery, correct? And the lesson in humility?”
“You will be aware of how – divisive your husband’s clearly stated views are. Not very Christian of him, if I may say so.”
To my surprise, she nodded and said “I would agree – but he is my husband. I am called to support him without judging or condemning – do you?”
“Mrs McLean, I am sitting here with a gun, saying I am going to rob you – and if you are aware of who I am, you know you are going to be unable to move or speak very much when I live. It would be hypocritical of me to say I judge him for that reason – but I do believe he is wrong.”
“You make a very valid point,” she said with a smile. “So let me guess – when my girls return, I have to tell them this is a game, and they should play along as well?”
“Very well then,” Jean said in her soft accented voice, “may I make a request for when they come in?”
“And that will be?”
Looking at the clock, she said “in approximately thirty minutes – my request is…”
“Mum – we’re home!”
“I’m in the front room – would you both come in girls? There is someone I want you to meet.”
I watched as Ginny and Moira came in, stopping as they saw their mother kneeling on the floor in front of the couch. Her hands were together in prayer, and her wrists lashed together with rope, while her arms were tied to her chest with a band of rope. Her ankles were also secured with rope, her boots squeaking as she moved on the cushion her knees were resting on.
“Mum,” Ginny said, “what’s going on – and who is he?” She was wearing a denim bombardier style jacket over a peach coloured dress, with a white slip underneath, white tights and baggy brown boots. Her younger sister was wearing a peach coloured slip dress over a long sleeved white top, white tights and brown ankle boots, a large coloured scarf wrapped round her neck.
“This man,” Jean said as she looked at me, “is an actor who I have hired to play a special game while your father is away. He is pretending to hold me hostage while he steals your father’s stamp collection – but now that you are both here, I want you to play along as well. As the first part of the game, he has tied me like this, to make sure I cannot escape – but also to give me the chance to pray for rescue, and offer other prayers to God.
“And now, I would like you both to play along as well, and join me in prayer for a short while. When some time has passed, he will release me and I will prepare supper for all of us, while you play along, and then after we eat there will be the next part of the game. He will not hurt you, and it is all acting – so please, kneel either side of me and put your hands together in prayer.”
“If that is what you want, mummy,” Moira said quietly.
“It is – and do not be afraid. The ropes are not painful.”
Ginny and Moira looked at each other, and then Ginny removed her jacket, and Moira her scarf, before they put two cushions on the floor and knelt either side of Jean. Taking some rope, I tied their ankles together first, then their wrists as they pit their hands together in prayer, and finally their arms to their bodies.
I left them for a few minutes as they closed their eyes, talking quietly before I made my way to their father’s study, and started to search for the collection…
A short while later, I came back in and released Jean from the ropes, the two girls watching as I did so.
“Now,” I said, “the next part of the game means your mother is preparing the food, while you two are still held hostage. Do they have rules on television?”
“I think, under the circumstances,” Jean said with a smile, “we can relax those rules.”
“Good,” I said as I removed the ropes from the arms of the girls, and then helped them both to sit on the couch. “One thing though – because you are hostages, I cannot have you calling for help.”
“How will you manage that,” Ginny said, and then she saw as I took two white bandanas from my bag, rolled them into bands, and used them as cleave gags on the two girls. I then turned the television on, put the remote in Ginny’s hands, and left them to entertain themselves while I accompanied Jean to the kitchen.
“Thank you,” she said as she put an apron on, “for not hurting them.”
“I have no desire to, so long as they do as they are told,” I said as she started to prepare some vegetables.
“Will you join us in eating?”
“Thank you, but no – after the meal, I will make sure all three of you are both comfortable, and quiet, before I take my leave.”
“And how are we to be freed? My husband is not back until tomorrow?”
“Your girls will think I am in hiding – which I will be – but I will inform the appropriate authorities after a suitable gap.” Jean shook her head as I said this, and replied “a real gentleman thief.”
“There are a few of us around,” I replied with a smile. “So what are you preparing?”
“Mince and Tatties,” she said with a smile as she started to prepare the potatoes…
“Thanks Mum – that was delicious,” Moira said as she pushed her plate away.
“Well I’m glad you liked it girls – all full up?”
“We are,” Ginny said as she looked at me, “so what happens now?”
“Well,” I said with a smile, “now, I need all three of you to come back into the front room, and to take your boots off. You will be more comfortable that way.”
“Let me load the dishwasher first,” Jean said as she started to collect the dishes, while I took the girls through, watching as they removed their boots and put them to one side.
“Now,” I said as I took out two lengths of ropes, “stand with your backs to me, and cross your wrists behind your back.”
By the time Jean came in, both Ginny and Moira were twisting their arms round, seeing if they could get their wrists free, while I was securing their ankles with more rope, having crossed them first. “So we will all be tied the same way, correct,” she said as I stood up.
“Correct – so watch what I do to your mother” I said, the two girls watching as I took Jean’s wrists behind her back, and bound them tightly together with rope. As I did so, she wriggled her stocking covered toes – I later discovered her boots were in the hallway.
I tied that rope off, and then wrapped some rope around her upper body above and below her chest, before cinching those bands between her arms and body. “You haven’t done that to us,” Ginny said as she wriggled round.
“Yet – I wanted you to see it on your mother first,” I said as I tied the ropes off, and then helped her to sit between the two girls before I secured their arms to their upper bodies in the same way. I then knelt in front of them, crossing and binding Jean’s ankles before all three had their legs secured together below their knees.
“So are you going to use those again,” Moira said as she looked at the damp bandanas.
“No – I need to do something a little more,” I said as I took three cloths from my bag, and folded them into pads. “Open your mouths please.”
“We’ll talk later girls,” Jean said as I put a pad of cloth into the mouth of each of them, and then covered their lips with white medical tape, making sure it stuck firmly to their faces. I then put on a film for them to watch, before saying “I am going to pretend to go now. You can try to escape, but I suggest you stay as you are until someone comes to set you free.”
“Wlldthth,” Jean said before she pressed her taped lips to the cheeks of both girls. I then left, the stamp collection in my bag, hoping her husband would take this lesson to heart…
The world of magazine fashion modelling is a strange one, and even more so if it involves mothers and daughters – and sons. Well, I tend to only meet sons on rare occasions, so let me relate the tale of Olive and Daisy O’Hare, who I visited recently.
Olive is in her late thirties, and was a reasonably well known model in her day – before she married her husband, a footballer now turned coach. Daisy is her ten year old daughter, and has done some shoots with her mother for catalogues and the like. So, she and her family were fairly well off, so I decided to visit one Sunday morning.
They lived in Aylesbury, in a nice little discrete house, complete with gated and walled access, so I needed to adopt a little disguise. Which is why you may have seen me on that particular day as I pulled up in a borrowed brown transit van, getting out in a brown polo shirt and cargo shorts, brown gloves on my hands and a baseball cap on my head.
Walking up to the gate, I pressed the button and waited until I heard Olive say “yes?”
“Courier delivery – I need a signature for it Mrs O’Hare.”
“Oh all right,” she said as the gate swung open, and I went in, my satchel over my shoulder as I looked round. When I got to the front door, I made one tiny addition to my costume, and then rang the doorbell.
“One minute,” I heard quietly from behind, and then Olive opened the door. She was wearing a lilac dress, with short sleeves that were more capped than sleeves, ad a skirt that came half way down her thighs, and a pair of orange kitten heels. He blond hair hung loosely over her shoulders.
“Right – where do I…” She looked at me, the stocking pulled down over my head, as I walked into the house, the gun in my gloved hand. “Good afternoon Olive,” I said quietly, “no sudden noises please. I am not going to hurt you or Daisy, as long as you do as I say, understand?”
“Who… Who are you?”
“A person who likes to get families to play games – that way, everyone stays happy. So my question, Olive, is can you persuade Daisy to play this game with you?”
She looked at me, and then said “and you will not hurt us?”
“I will make sure you spend some quiet quality time with each other, but apart from that, no,” I said as I took from my satchel a length of cord. “And with that in mind, turn round please and put your hands behind your back.”
Olive turned and did as I asked, biting her lower lip as I secured her wrists firmly together, taking the cord around and between her arms. As I tied the ends off, out of reach of her fingers, I said “and where is Daisy?”
“Reading a book in the main room,” Olive said quietly.
“Good – here’s what we are going to do…”
Five minutes later, I opened the door to the room to allow Olive to go in first, smiling as she said “Daisy, Mummy wants you to join her in playing a very special game.”
The blonde haired girl looked at her and me, before she said “why is the woman’s head covered, and why are your hands behind your back Mummy?” She was wearing a cream coloured vest top and mid-calf pants, with little purple flowers in them, and a short peach jacket with ruffed capped sleeves. Her hair was held back by a white Alice band, and she had a pair of silver sandals on her feet.
“Well,” Olive said as she looked at me, “she is pretending to be a woman who has come to steal something from the famous mother and daughter model team. So you need to do what she tells you, and she will do to you what she does to me, all right?”
“Pretending to be a robber? Wow – is that why your hands are behind your back Mummy?”
“That’s right,” she said as she turned round and wriggled her fingers. “So, let her do the same to you now, all right?”
“Okay Mummy – where do you want me, robber lady?”
“Come and stand with your mummy,” I said, and as she came over she hugged Olive, before allowing me to tie her wrists together behind her back. “It feels nice,” she giggled as I tied the ropes off.
“Now, I need to bind your arms to your sides – makes it harder for you to get free,” I said as I slipped my satchel off, and took two longer lengths of rope out, using them to secure their arms to their bodies with two bands, and cinched between their arms and their chest.
“Sit down,” I said, Olive talking to her daughter and telling them how I was going to make sure they could not move while I looked round. As she did this, I crossed and tied Daisy’s ankles together, and then her legs below her knees, the white bad over her pants. I then crossed Olive’s ankles and tied them together as well, and then her own legs.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” I said as I picked up my satchel, “stay there.”
“We’re not going anywhere,” Daisy said, Olive nodding as I searched their house. When I came back, I smiled as I said “now I need to make sure you stay quiet. Open your mouth as far as you can, Daisy.”
As she did so, I rolled up a white silk scarf and pulled it between her lips, seeing her smile as I tied it round her head, the ends hanging down her back. I used a second scarf to gag Olive as Daisy wriggled round, before saying “hwllngrwlkthsmm?”
“Slnnatksfrrscu,” Olive said as I tied the scarf tight, and then watched as Daisy rested her head against her mother. Looking at the, I smiled and said “now stay there – help will come soon enough.”
The both nodded as I left, my satchel with some nice things on it as I pressed the gate release, crossed the front of the house and left, making sure I had removed the stocking as I went back to the van…
Sometimes, it is good to spread a little Christmas love, and to see a Christmas wish fulfilled. Even as the Games Player…
This was actually something that had been planned for a few months, but for reasons that may become clearer later, the window of opportunity got narrowed to the weekend before Christmas. Rosanne Burr was a writer and lecturer, well known on the political program circuit as an ‘honest broker’ on those discussions. She lived with her husband and two daughters, ten year old Michelle and six year old Laura, in the Chilterns, in the town of Beaconsfield. Which is where I was watching them on this particular Saturday, as they waved the man of the house off. As he drove off, I smiled to myself – I knew I had a few hours, but a few hours was all that I would need.
As they went back into their house, I checked my rucksack, and then got out of the car, walking briskly up to the garage which had been left open. Once out of sight, I pulled the stocking down over my head, and then the leather gloves on, before I tried the handle of the door into the kitchen.
It opened noiselessly, and as I stepped in I looked round the modern décor, smiling as I closed the door behind myself. The kettle had just been boiled, given the steam rising from the nozzle, so I knew that someone, probably Roseanne, was having a warm drink. Looking in the hallway, I saw the tinsel hanging from the ceiling, and smiled as I walked along, and looked into the front room.
Roseanne was sitting on the couch, sipping from a mug of coffee without looking up. She was wearing a leopard print top, her long brown hair falling over the shoulders, black leggings and brown leather mid-calf boots, complete with faux straps.
I waited for a few minutes, and then heard a little gasp. Stepping back, I saw Michelle looking back at me. She had on a long sleeved leopard skin top over a black t-shirt, red jeans and black knee length boots, and was about to speak when I put my finger to my lips, and walked her into the room she had just come out of.
“Hello Laura, Michelle,” I said as I closed the room door, “don’t be afraid – this is just a costume I’m wearing because your mum and dad asked me to come and play a game today.”
“Wow – are you pretending to be a bad man,” the six year old said as she stood up. While Michelle had long blonde hair, Laura had black hair in two pigtails, and was wearing a short sleeved black dress with a tiger print over dress, black tights and short dark brown leather boots.
“That’s right,” I said with a smile, “so I want you both to play along with the game, so that your mum knows when we join her that you are happy with this. Now, to play the game, I have to start by using some of this rope.” Slipping my bag off, I took two lengths of rope and handed them to the girls.
“Are you going to tie our wrists,” Michelle said as she felt the rope.
“I am – behind your backs – and then I’ll use some more rope to fix your arms to your sides. Then we’ll go and surprise your mum, so that she can play the game as well.”
“All right,” Michelle said and she turned and put her hands behind her back, holding them together as I used the rope to tie her wrists tightly together. Laura watched as I then tied her sister’s arms to her body, using a double figure of eight to do so.
“It’s good, Laura,” Michelle said as I tied the rope off, “you can do this as well now?”
“Okay.” The younger sister stood in front of me as I knelt down, and tied her wrists together, before wrapping the rope around her stomach and arms as well. She wriggled round as I tied the ropes off, and said “will you do this to mum as well?”
“Yes I will,” I said with a smile, “and now it is time to get your mum to play. Now, because I’m pretending to be a bad robber, I’m going to walk behind you, and put my hands over your mouths before we go into the room. All right?”
Both girls nodded as I opened the door, and we walked along the corridor to where I had left the door open. I looked at both of them, and then put my hands over their mouths as we made our way into the room. Roseanne looked round, and then looked again as she put her magazine down, and whispered “oh my god…”
“Sllrrhtmmsegm,” Michelle mumbled under my hand.
“That’s right, Mrs Burr,” I said as I smiled under the stocking mask, “I came as agreed, to play the game of robbers with you and your daughters. They’ve started to play along already, and now it’s time for you to join in. Isn’t the right girls?”
Roseanne watched as they both nodded, before she raised her hands and said “please don’t hurt us mister robber…”
“I won’t – if you all play along,” I said with a smile, “I want you to come and stand in front of me, hands on your head.” As she did so, I said to Michelle and Laura “as for you two, go and sit on the couch while I make sure your mummy cannot move her arms either.”
They both nodded as I removed my hands, and they walked over to sit on the couch. For my part, I walked behind Roseanne, slipped my rucksack off and took some rope out, and then crossed her wrists behind her back before I started to bind them together.
I made sure, as I had with the girls, I cinched the bands by taking the rope between her wrists, as she talked to them, made sure they were all right, and it was not hurting. They both nodded and said they were fine, wriggling round as I used more rope to bid Roseanne’s arms to her sides in the same way as them.
When I had finished, I watched as she walked over and sat next to Laura, Michelle at the far end of the couch. The Christmas tree was lit, the lights twinkling, which was when Laura said “can we have a Silent night photo?”
Now, I had seen some of them, so I said “I’ll tell you what – the bad robber needs to make sure you cannot walk away from the couch first, but when he has done that, if your mum will tell me where there are some spare lights, I’ll take a photo of all three of your, all right?” Well, both girls nodded as Roseanne said “all right – in the store cupboard under the stairs.”
“Thank you,” I said as I knelt down, crossed her wrists, and secured her ankles as tightly together as I had her wrists. I then secured her legs together below her knees, hearing her giggle slightly as I took the rope between her legs.
Laura was next – she was sitting back on the couch, her feet just over the edge, so I tied her ankles sides by side, and then tied her legs below the hem of her skirt. As she tried to move her legs, she heard the leather and rope squeak as they rubbed against each other, and looked at Roseanne as she said “it sounds funny, Mum.”
“It does, doesn’t it,” she replied with a smile as she moved her own legs, while I secured those of Michelle. She smiled as she said “We’re going to stay here now Mum.”
“Well, keep quiet for a minute,” I said as I went and found two sets of lights. Putting them down, I moved the two girls so they were sitting back to back, their legs bent, and then wrapped one set of lights around their upper bodies to hold them together. The second set I wound round Roseanne, starting with her arms and then moving down to secure her legs as well.
“We need to be quiet for the photo as well,” Michelle said.
“Yes you do,” I said as I held up a roll of green tape, and then smoothed a long strip over each of their mouths. Roseanne’s handbag was there, so I found her mobile phone and took some pictures of all three of them, the lights twinkling on them as well as they posed and smiled.
“Now then,” I said as I put the phone down, “I need to remove the lights – they could hurt you if I leave them on. I’ll put them away, and then I need to move you so that you can all be together while I pretend to rob the house.”
“For the moment, yes,” I said as I untangled all three of them, “but when I come back, the bad robber needs to change them for something to keep you all really quiet. Now sit quietly while I put the television on.”
There was a musical starting, so I left them to watch it while I went and looked in the bedrooms. Coming back down, I went to the kitchen and got three drinks, in glasses with straws, and then took them into the front room. I peeled the tape from their mouths and allowed them to have a drink, before putting a folded cloth into each of their mouths and then covering them with white medical tape.
As Laura tried to speak, she looked at her mother, and then at me – so I lifted her onto Roseanne’s lap, and secured the two of them together with some rope round their waists. As I did this, Michelle wriggled over and rested her head against her mother’s arm, Roseanne gag kissing both of her girls on her head.
“Now, you all stay there until our dad gets back, all right,” I said, leaving Roseanne’s phone on the table out of reach of them before I left the room. I knew they would be all right – by my reckoning, their father would be home some thirty minutes after I left.
Actually, that was what Roseanne had said when she left a message on the board, asking if I would do this. The jewels I found were left by her, the money to go to a local charity – as the family were emigrating to America after Christmas, and she knew the girls were visitors to the board, she and her husband wanted them to have a very special last Christmas in the UK – starting with my visit…