Mother and Daughter Moment 28
Sometimes you have to be spontaneous – case in point. I had picked up some supplies for future visits, and was putting the bags of ropes and tapes into the boot of my car when I heard this woman say nearby “we need to get back before Miss Dunbar returns – I still have a lot to do.”
“Okay Mummy,” a young girl said, and I looked over to where a nine year old girl was standing. She had flaming red hair, and was wearing a purple cardigan over a grey tiered top, a black skirt with a large white flower print, grey socks and grey felt boots. Her mother had long dark hair, and was dressed in a yellow cardigan over a black blouse with white polka dots, black pants and black shoes.
I don’t know why I did it, but I got behind the wheel of my car and followed them out of the car back, onto the main road, and then to a detached house on the outskirts of town. I parked a short way down and watched as they collected some bags from the car and carried them in. A few minutes later, a second car pulled up and a woman in his late thirties came out, with a twelve year old daughter – and I knew who they were straight away.
So I got out of my car, and took from the back a couple of rolls of tape, as well as a pair of stockings and my gloves. I was wearing a white jumper, jeans and black ankle boots, so this was going to be an improvised game.
Walking round the back, I glanced through the kitchen window, and smiled as I saw the first couple in the kitchen, one cooking while the young girl was doing something at the table. So I took a deep breath, opened the back door, and before her mother had a chance to do anything I walked over and put my gloved hands on her daughter’s shoulders.
“Hello,” I said quietly, “please, don’t call out. I want to surprise the others with the game we’re going to play, and I want you and your daughter to play first. So turn off the stove, and take the pan off the heat, and then come and sit down.”
She looked at me, and then said “it’s all right Hettie – this lady has come to play a game with all of us, so we’ll play together, all right?”
“Okay mummy – how do we play, lady – and why is your head covered?”
I smiled under the stocking mask, and said “to hide my face – now, will you sit here while Mummy sits in the other chair, and then I’ll make sure you both stay together?”
“All right,” she said as she watched her mother come over and sit down, and then gasped as I took a roll of duct tape from my bag, tore the end free, and used it to tape her mother’s left wrist and elbow to the chair back. I then taped her other arm into place, before kneeling down and taping her ankles and legs below her knee to the chair legs.
“Will you do that to me,” Hettie said as I tore the tape free and smoothed it down.
“Not quite,” I said, “I’m going to use the tape to keep your wrists and legs together, and then I’ll sit you on your mummy’s lap, and make sure you stay right there. So, will you cross your wrists for me?”
As her mother watched, I taped Hettie’s wrists together, then slipped off her boots before I taped her ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees. As she squirmed round, I nodded and said “ready to sit on Mummy’s lap?”
Hettie nodded, as I lifted her and sat her on her mum’s lap, watching as she swung her legs up and down while I used the tape around both of them to secure them to the chair back.
I then tore a strip of tape away and smoothed it over her mum’s mouth, before Hettie smiled as I taped over her mouth as well. “Sit quietly,” I said as I looked in Mum’s bag, and removed her mobile phone, before I walked down and looked in the front room.
The twelve year old girl was sitting in a chair, a large blue scarf wrapped loosely round her neck, a light blue jacket over a white top, jeans and yellow baseball boots. Her mother was sitting opposite, wearing a white jacket over a purple jumper, a leopard print scarf round her neck, tan pants and patterned Vans trainers.
Neither of them heard me as I came in – the first the mum knew was when her daughter gasped as I put my leather gloved hand over her mouth. Looking at me, she said “what the…”
“Hello,” I said quietly, “I hope you remembered the game you booked me to play with you today.”
“That’s right – the game where I pretend to be a robber, and make everyone in the house stay where they are. So I need you and your daughter to remain calm – your housekeeper and her daughter are already playing.”
She stared at me for a few more minutes, before she said “Angela, we’ll play this game together, all right?”
“Ysmmmee,” the girl said, and then I removed my hand before I said “why don’t you stand in front of each other?” As they stood up and walked over, I said “Mummy, I want you to take your scarf off, and use it to keep Angela quiet as she opens her mouth. And make it tight – you both need to be kept very quiet.”
Nodding, she unwrapped her leopard print scarf, and then tied it round Angela’s head as she opened her mouth, the scarf filling the space behind her teeth as it went twice round and then she tied the ends off at the back of her neck, under her blonde hair.
“Fair is fair, Angela – use your scarf to gag your mother.”
She nodded, and mumbled “sreemmm” as she rolled her own scarf into a band, and passed it twice round her mother’s head, filling her mouth as well before tying the ends off. I made sure both were tightly gagged, before I handed the mother a roll of tape, and said “tape Angela’s wrists together behind her back, then wrap it round her body to keep her arms at her sides.”
As I watched, she put Angela’s hands together behind her back, a dark damp stain forming on the scarf in her mouth as her wrists were secured together, and then her arms pinned to her sides.
“Lie down on the couch,” I said, and as Angela lay down I directed her mother to tape her ankles together, then her legs below her knees, and finally her thighs. Angela then watched as I taped her mother up, making her lie on the floor and putting a cushion under her head.
“Don’t move,” I said as I quickly searched the house, collecting a fair number of nice pieces, and then checking all four before I left the house.
The owner? Frances Dunbar, my local MP – well, I didn’t vote for her…
The world of the child fashion model is a strange one. I don’t mean the stars of child beauty pageants – that is a whole new world of strange and unfathomable. I mean the kids who model for designer wear for the younger girl.
One of the most well known in the UK is a girl called Libra Clarke – and yes, that really is her name, and her star sign according to the research I had undertaken. She’s reasonably famous, and her parents had invested her income wisely – which, given she was ten, is not too surprising. They were both business executives, and well off in their own right – which is how they ended up on my list of people to visit and play the game with.
It was around six pm on a weekday night when I was outside the house – I knew the man of the house would be late home that night, which meant I had time to visit Libra, her older sister Naomi, and her mother Alice. I checked my bag, and then got out of the car, making my way round to the side of the house and in through the garage door.
I listened at the door that led to the kitchen, and then made my way quietly in, through the empty kitchen and then looking in the front room. Alice was sitting in an armchair, wearing a peach coloured v-necked sweater and white jeans, while eleven year old Naomi was sitting across her lap, wearing a white short sleeved blouse and black tights.
I took a deep breath, made sure the stocking mask was tucked under the collar of my own jumper, and then walked in, saying “Good evening Mrs Clark – I am here as requested, to play the game tonight.”
Naomi stared at me as Alice held her in her arms, and looked at me for a moment. She was quick on the uptake, as she said “oh yes – I remember now, but Libra is out. She should be back in half an hour or so.” Looking at her older daughter, she then said “Surprise Naomi – this is an actor I hired to pretend to be someone who wants to hold us all hostage as a game. I know it’s not how you wanted to spend the evening, but we should all play it anyway.”
I looked at them both, with their shoulder length blonde hair, before Naomi said “all right Mum – but what will the bad man do to us?”
“I need to make sure my hostages can’t get free,” I said as I slipped my rucksack off, “and also that when your sister comes home, she gets surprised as well. But you can both stay there – I just need to make sure you cannot get up, starting with you Naomi.” I took from the bag some lengths of cord, and as I knelt by the chair and started to tie the young girl’s covered ankles together, Alice said “Remember it’s all a game sweetheart – and I will cuddle and keep you safe and then cuddle and keep Libra safe all the way through, all right?”
She nodded as I tied the rope around and between her ankles, and then around and between her legs below her knees, before they both watched me secure Alice’s legs in the same way.
“So how will you make sure I stay on Mummy’s lap,” Naomi asked as I took two more lengths of rope from my bag.
“Let me show you, can you fold your arms in front of yourself, while your mum puts her hands on her head?”
She nodded, and I then tied her wrists to her elbows, before saying “now Mum is going to give you a big hug.” Alice nodded as she hugged Naomi, while I crossed her wrists and tied them together with more rope.
“Now then,” I said as I sat down, “we wait for your sister to come home, and then we can get her to play as well…”
We didn’t have long to wait, as the door opened and closed, and I heard Libra Clark saying “I’m home Mum – have you got…” She stopped in the doorway as she saw her mother and sister bound in the chair, as Alice said “Surprise Libra – I hired someone to play the part of a kidnapper, and now that you’re back, he’s going to hold all three of us for ransom.”
She stared at me as I stood up, and then giggled as she said “you read my diary, didn’t you Mum?”
“I’m afraid I did – so do as the man says, all right?”
“I need you to take your coat off Libra,” I said with a smile, and she removed her duffle coat to reveal a white long sleeved blouse, a short black leather skirt, tights and flat Mary Jane black shoes.
“Now, I’m going to tie your arms and legs just like your sister,” I said with a smile, “and then Mum is going to cuddle you while Naomi lies on the couch. I then need to get the lair ready to take all three of you to, and keep you hidden there.”
“Your mum’s bedroom – ready?”
She nodded as she folded her arms in front of herself, and I tied her wrists to her elbows as well. I then lifted Alice’s arms up, and carried Naomi over to the couch, before Libra walked over and sat on her mother’s lap, cuddling in as Alice lowered her arms over her. I then used two more lengths of cord to secure her in the same way as the other two, and then smiled as I stood up.
“Because I need to leave you alone, I need to tie your arms to your legs, and also do something to stop you talking for a little while,” I said as I looked at them. Taking two more lengths of cord, I tied one round the forearms of each of the girls, and then secured the other end to the rope between their legs. As for Alice, I tied a length of rope from her wrists to her ankles.
“How will you keep us quiet,” Naomi asked as she rested her head on the arm of the couch. To answer her, I took a roll of medical tape from my bag, tore off a strip and pressed it firmly over her mouth, before doing the same to the other two, and then turning the television on.
I then left them to try and talk to each other as I went to prepare Alice’s bedroom – and also avail myself of the opportunity to find her valuables. When I came down, Libra was asleep, her head resting on her mother’s chest as she and Naomi looked at me.
“Your other daughter first I think,” I said quietly as I lifted Naomi in my arms and carried her out, returning a few minutes later and lifting Libra carefully from under her mother’s arms. She watched me walk out of the room, and then come back.
“Waiting for you,” I said as I carried her out of the room, and up the stairs. As we entered the master bedroom, she saw Naomi and Libra lying with their heads on the pillows, and I place Naomi between both of them, before I secured her ankles to the foot of the bed. As I did this, Naomi wriggled over and lay with her head on her mother’s chest, and I put Libra on the other side, Alice kissing the foreheads of both of them with her taped lips.
“You remain here until the ransom is paid,” I said quietly as I left the room, and then the house…
This is a sweet little tale, and it actually made the visit go a lot more quickly than I thought it might have done…
It was mid-summer, and Steve had suggested I may a visit to the owner of a children’s fashion store in this town. Her name was Ming, and as I watched her talking to one of her customers in her store I sized her up. Late thirties, with black hair tied back, wearing a sheer long sleeved blouse, blue with a red floral print and a mock scarf tied at the neck, a short denim skirt, and brown sandals that came up and over her ankle.
I smiled as she talked to the other customers, then made a purchase and went out. Returning to the car, I checked the notes we had on her, and made my way to her house. I wanted to be sure her husband had left before she got home with their daughter…
It was about six when I saw her pull up – her husband worked as a supermarket manager, and we had ascertained he was on the evening/late shift that week, so as she got out of the car and opened the back door, I knew I would have time to make sure they could both play along. Their daughter, Jenny, was ten years old, and had a pink band with a flower on it holding her hair back. She was wearing an orange t-shirt with a cat and “Hurricane Spirit” printed on the front, a pleated fawn coloured skirt, and silver grey trainers.
I watched as they walked into the house, and figured I had a short while before I needed to go in – allow them to have their tea, and so on, before I began the games…
It was about seven o’clock when I put my rucksack on my back, and made my way up to the house, checking before I went round the side and slipped my stocking mask down over my head. The side door was open, and as I slowly looked inside I saw the kitchen was empty – allowing me to slip in and close the door behind myself, and listen for a few moments.
I could hear the television was on, so I walked slowly along the corridor and looked in. Jenny was lying on her floor on her stomach, kicking her legs up and down as she watched a Scooby Doo cartoon, while Ming was sat in an armchair, watching the show as well.
“Does Daphne always get caught like that,” Jenny said as she saw the titular damsel on the screen, once more tied with a scarf round her mouth.
“She always seems to,” Ming said with a smile. “I wonder how she must feel.”
“Well, it seems I arrived in time to show you.”
Both of them looked round as I came in, and said “hello Jenny. Your mother asked me to come and surprise you tonight, by letting you be like Daphne for an evening.”
“You did?” Jenny looked at her mother, who was staring at me, and then said “yes I did – thank you for coming, but I need to talk to you once you have shown Jenny what it is like.”
“Of course – Jenny, do you think you can put your hands behind your back for me?”
“Wow – I really am going to be Daphne,” she said with a grin as she put her hands behind her back, and I took a length of cord from my bag, Ming watching as I secured her wrists together, and then her ankles, making sure I cinched both bindings. “Now, if I tie the scarf over your mouth, will you stay here while I make sure I take care of everything your mother wants,” I said with a smile, Jenny nodding as I took a black scarf, folded it into a band, and then tied it tightly over her mouth, securing the ends at the back of her neck.
“Will you be all right,” Ming said as she stood up, Jenny nodding as she and I went out into the corridor. Closing the door to, she said “you are the Games Player, correct?”
“That’s right,” I whispered back, “so you know I want you to treat this as if it is a big game, to keep your daughter calm and safe.” Ming nodded, and then said “then you must bind me in the same way, but I suspect you will need to make sure we are more secure before you leave, correct?”
I nodded as she smiled and said “then you must allow us to prepare for bed and bind us in that way before you go – let us just say it will make things easier.”
“Of course,” I said quietly, “now, please, turn round and put your hands behind your back.” A few minutes later, Jenny looked up and giggled as I brought Ming back in, sitting her in the chair with a black scarf tied over her mouth, and then tied her ankles together with some cord.
“Now, Daphne and her mother have to wait here for a while, understand?” They both nodded as I left them in the room – yes, not really secured, but I had Ming’s mobile phone, and the telephone was disconnected, as I went in search of her valuables.
When I returned an hour or so later, Jenny was sitting against her mother, as they both looked up at me.
“Now,” I said as I untied the scarves and removed them, “Jenny, your mother has told me you have a special request – that you and your mother are held hostage by a bad man in her bed. Is that right?”
Jenny blushed before she said “yeah, I saw it in a film once. Can we do that?”
“Yes we can,” Ming said as I untied their wrists and ankles, “but first we all go to the kitchen while we have some milk and cookies, and then you need to wash and put on the nightdress – and I will as well. All right?”
Jenny nodded as we all walked into the kitchen, Ming handing her a glass of milk and some biscuits before she had some herself, and then we went up the staircase. As Jenny went in first, Ming said to me “we need to be next to each other, so that we can rest together, but not tied together – I want her to have the freedom to move a little.”
I nodded in understanding as Jenny came out, wearing a floor length white nightgown, with long sleeves and a ruffed collar. “Now then,” I said as I looked at her, “I’m going to tie your wrists and arms while Mummy gets ready, so put your hands behind your back again.”
As Ming went into the bathroom, and closed the door slightly to, I crossed Jenny’s wrists behind her back and tied them together with cord, the rope going around and between her arms as I made sure they were secured. I then took a longer length of rope from my bag, and wrapped it around her upper body, securing her arms in two bands above and below her chest, and then tying it off behind her.
“There – how does that feel,” I said as I tied the knot off, Jenny smiling as she said “it feels nice and secure – look Mum, my arms are tied now.”
“So I see,” Ming said as she came out, also wearing a white nightdress that went to the floor, hers in an Edwardian style. “So do you think she will tie my arms in the same way?”
“Please,” Jenny asked – and how could I refuse such a polite request? A few minutes later, Jenny smiled as I tied the ropes off behind Ming’s back, her wrists secured and two bands of rope framing her chest as well.
“Now then – into your mother’s room,” I said with a smile, “and both of you sit on her bed.”
They both walked into the main bedroom and sat next to each other on the bed, talking to each other as I first crossed and secured their ankles together, and then tied their legs together above their knees, gathering the skirt of their nightdresses round their legs as I did so.
“Now, I need to keep you both quiet, so the good guys who are looking for you cannot hear you,” I said as I took a wide roll of white medical tape from my rucksack. “Mummy first – lie down, make yourself comfortable, and then look at me.”
“Watch me,” Ming said as she wriggled down and lay with her head on a pillow, then looked at me as I tore a strip of tape from the roll, and pressed it firmly over her mouth, making sure it formed to the shape of her chin and her mouth.
“My turn,” Jenny said as she wriggled down, resting her head on Ming’s shoulder as I taped over her mouth as well, and said “now stay quiet – help will come soon.” I went out of the room, and picked up the pillowcase with the valuables inside, before I made my way out of the house…
There is a wonderful story by P G Wodehouse called “Buttercup Day” about a thief who uses the pretence of selling buttercups to raise money for charity to rob a house. I mention it because it is an idea I have – well, adapted to my own purposes on one occasion, to visit the home of an actress who was a great supporter of charities.
As you know, normally I make my presence known in a fairly – dramatic way, but I happened to know that Daisy Roots – and yes, that was her name – had been the victim of a rather nasty robbery some months before, so what was needed here was the gentle approach – and that approach involved her live-in housekeeper, Amanda, and her six year old daughter Amy. I made an appointment with Daisy, to discuss if she would be willing to support a charity called Sunflower Day – except I had another motive in mind, and I would be arriving a little earlier than planned.
An hour early, in fact, as I drove up to the gate of the high wall that surrounded her house. I knew from my research they did not have a security camera at the gate – a bit clumsy that – so when I rang and said I was here for a meeting with Daisy Roots I was buzzed straight in, and drove up to the front door.
I was dressed for the occasion – dark suit, white shirt, dark tie, polished shoes. That meant I only needed to get out of the car and ring the doorbell, then take the time it would take Amanda to open the door to pull a stocking down over my head and put on leather gloves.
When she opened the door, therefore and said “I’m sorry that…” I walked quietly in, putting my finger to my lips as I said “hello – please, no loud noises or attempts to raise the alarm.” I then looked at her and said “not the normal attire for a housekeeper?” Amanda was wearing a blue denim jacket over a dark blue top, a peach layered skirt, and black boots.
“No – I was at a party with… Look, I’ll do whatever you want, just don’t hurt Amy?”
“I have no intention of hurting either of you,” I said with a smile, “but I do need to make sure you both stay quiet and out of the way, so you need to help me to convince her this is a game. Understand?”
“Yeah – we just came from a party, we can say it’s something all the girls there are getting.”
“If that will work fine – where is your daughter?”
“In my room, at the back.”
“Then let’s go,” I said as I held my bag in my hand, Amanda walking in front of me as we went into a very nice sitting room. Amy was sitting on a couch, wearing a white long sleeved t-shirt, a pink tutu style skirt, and white tights.
“Hello Amy,” I said as I came in, “I hear you’ve been to a party today?”
“Yeah – who are you?”
“I’m a special surprise from the party,” I said with a smile, “me and others are visiting all the girls, and pretending they and their mummies are going to be held captive so that a prince can come and rescue them!”
“OH wow,” Amy said with a smile, her brown hair cut in a bob, “so what are you going to do to us?”
“I’ll show you,” I said as I put the bag down, “Mummy is going to make sure your wrists and legs are tied so you cannot move them, then I will do the same to her, and keep you both together.” Taking a length of cord from my bag and handing it to Amanda, I said “can you put your hands together in front of you, as if you are praying?”
Amy did that, as I instructed Amanda in the correct way to secure her wrists together, so that they stayed tied. “This is a fun game,” she said with a smile as I handed Amanda two more lengths of rope, and told her to tie her ankles together, and then her legs below her knees.
“Now then,” I said as she finished that, “you sit there for a minute while I tie Mummy’s legs, and then you can sit on her lap.” Amy nodded as I took two lengths of cord, and secured Amanda’s ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees and above her boots. As she tried to move her legs, Amy giggled at the squeak…
“There we go,” I said as I lifted Amy onto her mother’s lap, “now she’s going to give you a big hug for as long as the game lasts.” As Amanda wrapped her arms round her daughter, I crossed her wrists and tied them together, before I secured them to the rope around Amy’s legs. I then secured Amy’s ankles to her mothers, as she kissed her daughter on the head.
“Now comes the real fun part,” I said as I looked at them, “can you put your lips together for me…”
I glanced out of the window of the front room as the Octavia drew up, and Daisy Roots got out. The actress had long dark hair, and was wearing a grey wool jacket over a black roll neck sweater, black leather pants and suede ankle boots. I also saw her daughter Rose – she was eleven, her brown hair in two pigtails, and was wearing a sundress made of blue material that had a large sunflower print on it, and a wide yellow belt. Her legs were in white tights, with white Mary Jane shoes.
I smiled as they came in, and Daisy called out “Amanda – are you back yet?” The door to the room opened and Rose came in, her eyes wide as I held her and put my gloved hand over her mouth before Daisy came in.
“Oh my god,” she whispered as she saw me, “who are…”
“Hello,” I said quietly, “we had an appointment this morning to discuss some charity work, but I wanted to demonstrate how the charity would work, Daisy – may I call you Daisy?”
“And that is…”
“A charity kidnapping – and I want you and your daughter to have an idea of what might happen. It’s all a game, of course, so will you both play along?”
“What do you say, Rose,” Daisy said with a smile as she recovered her composure, “shall we play along?”
She seemed to have calmed down from the initial shock, as she nodded and I took my hand away. “Well,” I said with a smile, “the idea is someone – perhaps you – is snatched from home or work, a web page is set up to collect donations to free them, and when the target is reached they go free.”
“And just how realistic do you make this – charity kidnap?”
“Allow me to show you both – would you put your hands behind your back for me, both of you? I assure you, it doesn’t hurt?”
“Let’s do this together darling,” Daisy said to Rose as she hugged her daughter, and then crossed her wrists behind her back, smiling as I secured them together. I then did the same to Rose, as she said “it feels funny Mum.”
“Where are Amanda and her daughter?”
“Oh they are playing along as well,” I said as I tied the cords between Rose’s wrists, “would you like to see them?”
“Yes I would.”
“Good – but first, I need to make sure you both have your arms secured to your bodies.”
I used longer lengths of rope to tie their arms to their sides, and then walked them to the back room. “Hnnn – ruppnswwlmssrets,” Amanda mumbled under the tape that covered her mouth, as Amy said “Wrrpllenneggmrsss.”
“Yes, we’re all taking part,” Daisy said, “so we will see you later.”
Smiling, I turned on the television and gave the remote to Amanda, as she pressed her taped lips on Amy’s head and her daughter snuggled into her. As for Daisy and Rose, I walked them up the stairs and into one of the bedrooms.
“Why don’t you sit side by side on the bed,” I said, “and I’ll tie your legs to make sure you stay there.” Once they were sat side by side, I took more cords and crossed their ankles, securing them and then their legs below their knees, before I helped them to lie with their heads on the cushions. Strips of white tape then covered their mouths, before I turned on the television at the foot of the bed.
After I had searched the house, I came to check on them both, before I said “you will be freed in a little while. For now, enjoy the game…”
Somehow, the thought of visiting the home of a minister of the cloth, and ‘inviting’ his wife and daughters to play a game of hostages while I robbed the place, was a thought that intrigued me. So when I proposed to Steve the visit I was about to make, he made a suggestion that I decided to put to full use.
It also gave me the opportunity to visit one of my favourite parts of the country – the Yorkshire Dales, in this case near the town of Aysgarth. Maria Cairns was married to the local Anglican minister, and they lived in a farmhouse with their three daughters – ten year old Sophie, nine year old Grace and seven year old Mary. What made her an interesting person was her sideline – she was better known in the book community as Maddie Pryor, best-selling writer of the Inspector White mysteries.
At any rate, I had been staying in the area for a few days, surveying and checking. And on this particular afternoon, I was watching as the family walked back to the farmhouse. Maria had long light brown hair, pulled back and held in place by a clasp, and a black coat with a pink scarf kept the wind off her body. I could see the knee length black suede boots under the coat.
As they walked along, Mary was holding her hand, her padded jacket keeping her warm, as were the white tights she was wearing, and the grey ankle boots over her feet. Both Sophie and Grace also had on padded coats, Sophie looking round through the glasses she was wearing, just like her mother.
I watched as they went in the front door, and allowed them a few moments to remove their coats, before I got out of the car and walked up to the side of the farmhouse. I made sure the stocking was pulled down, and tucked under the neck of my sweater, as well as the leather gloves pulled over my hands, before I looked into the kitchen, and saw all four of them at the table.
Maria was wearing a black jersey dress that came down to her knees, the black patterned hose visible between the hem and the cuffs of her boots. Grace was wearing a blue short sleeved dress, with red and white bands at the hems, and black and white rugby style tights, her lower legs still in the black boots with a patterned top.
Sophie was sitting in the third chair, wearing a brown dress with a floral pattern, the short sleeves revealing a long sleeved white top underneath, black tights and dark grey mid-calf fabric boots. Finally, Mary was swinging her legs to and fro, the pink dress with black polka dots now visible.
They were all eating a meal, so when I opened the back door and walked in, they all turned and looked at me, Maria putting her knife and fork down and saying “oh my lord…”
“Hello, Mrs Cairns,” I said with a smile as I looked at the family, “I hope your publisher let you know I was coming today.”
“My… My publisher,” she stuttered as she looked at me.
“Yes – they reviewed your next proposal for the Inspector White stories, and liked the idea of him trying to find the kidnapped family, but they wanted you to have some help working through how the family would feel. Don’t tell me they didn’t tell you?”
Now this was a ploy that had worked for Steve once or twice, and I could see Maria quickly thinking things over, before she said “no they didn’t tell me – but it doesn’t surprise me they would suggest this. Let me guess – they want me and the girls to be the family?”
“That’s right – do you want me to explain to the girls?”
“No, I’ll do it,” she said quietly as she looked round the table. “Girls, Mummy has been discussing a new book with her editors, and in one a family is going to be kidnapped to force their daddy to rob a secret facility. They thought it would be a better story if I acted it through – but I never said yes or no. Or at least, I did not think I had, but it appears I may have.”
“What do you mean Mummy,” Mary said.
“I have been hired by your mummy’s publisher to pretend to be the person who kidnaps the family – they should have been in touch to explain this, but obviously… I have come some way, but if you are not prepared…”
This was a gamble, but as she looked at me, she said “no, it is all right. Girls, this young lady is going to pretend to kidnap us and hold us hostage, but she is going to allow us to finish our lunch first, aren’t you?”
“Of course I am,” I said with a smile.
“So what is she going to do,” Grace asked.
“Well, a kidnapper makes sure the family stay in one place,” I said with a smile, “so we’ll find a room to keep all three of you together in, while I make your mummy send a message, and then she will join you. It means you won’t be able to move or talk for a little while, but it is just a game, all right?”
The three girls looked at each other, before they nodded in agreement. “Good,” I said with a smile, “so eat up, and we’ll start to play when you are finished.”
“Can we watch a film while we play Mummy,” Grace asked.
“I tell you what,” I said with a smile, “do you have access to Netflix?”
“We do – why?”
“We’ll set it up to run through a series of a show you can all watch – one your mother approves of – all right?”
Maria nodded as she said “you all should go to the toilet as well – now, eat up…”
A short while later, I said “if you have all finished, then stand up, and you girls go to the toilet. You can join me and your mother in the room the television is in.” As they went up the stairs, I whispered “your mobile phone, please.”
“You’re one of the Games Players, aren’t you,” Maria said quietly as she handed me her handbag, and I removed her phone.
“That’s right – so you’ve done the right thing,” I said as I removed the battery, and put both parts in a high cupboard. “Where are we going?”
Maria led me into a room with a bean bag on the floor, two comfortable armchairs and a couch. Nodding, I took my rucksack off and put it on a chair, removing a length of cord as I said “good – now, put your hands behind your back please.”
As she looked to the door, I crossed and secured her wrists together behind her back, making sure the rope went around and between her arms, before I heard the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs. “Play along,” I whispered as I put a gloved hand over her mouth, smiling as the three girls came in.
“Oh no,” Grace said as she giggled with Sophie and Mary, “Mummy, who is this?”
“Hello girls,” I said with a smile, “I want you to do what I tell you, isn’t that right Mummy?”
I took my hand away, as Maria said “do what the lady says girls – we’re all going to be going on a little trip.”
“What has she done to your arms Mummy,” Mary said as she looked at us.
“I’ll show you,” I said with a smile as I let Maria sit in an armchair. “Please turn round for me, and put your hands behind your back.”
As the girls watched Maria, I walked behind them and secured their wrists together, keeping their hands together palm to palm, but making sure the final knot was out of reach on top of the binding. “Now then,” I said as I helped Maria to stand up, “I want you all to close your eyes, and pretend I have blindfolded you, and I’m going to take you somewhere out of the way.”
The three girls nodded and closed their eyes as Maria and I led them out of the room, around the ground floor and out into the secluded back garden, then back into the house and to the room we started in. As they walked in, I closed the door and the curtains, before I said “We’re here – the blindfolds are off.”
“Where are we mummy,” Sophie said as she looked round.
“I don’t know,” Maria said as I took more ropes out, and wrapped them around the arms and stomachs of the girls, before I said “now then – youngest one on the bean bag, middle one on the couch, oldest one in the armchair. Mummy can sit in the other armchair – when I say.”
As the three girls walked to their seats, I took another long length of rope and tied Maria’s arms to her sides, taking the rope above and below her chest, and then allowed her to sit in the other chair as I took several lengths of cord.
“Why are you holding us hostage, you bad lady,” Grace said as I put her ankles together, and used some cord to secure them.
“I want your father to get something for me,” I said in a mock Russian accent as I took the rope around and between her legs, tying the ends off before I used a second length to secure her legs below her knees, “so you all stay here, and then when he has done it, I’ll let you free.”
Once I had her legs secured, I moved over to where Mary was sitting, and tied her ankles and legs together as well as she giggled. Finally, I tied Sophie’s legs together, Maria all the time talking and joking with them.
“Now I need to take your mother and record a message to your father,” I said with a smile, “can I trust the three of you to keep quiet until she comes back?”
“We’ll be quiet,” Grace said, Maria nodding as she said “I will be back soon girls.” Before I went, I put the television on, found Netflix and saw they had a series of Veggietales available, so I started that off.
As we left the room, Maria said “thank you for making it a game.”
“My pleasure – now, your valuables…”
When we came back in, the girls looked at Maria as Grace said “have you sent a message to Daddy?”
“Ysseddd,” Maria said – her voice somewhat muffled by the fact I had rolled a black scarf into a band, and tied a knot in it, and used it as a cleave gag, her lips and teeth closed over the knot. I helped her to sit down, the girls watching as Larry the Cucumber started a new story, and I secured her ankles and legs together.
“Now, while I deliver the message, I need to make sure you girls stay quiet as well,” I say as I rolled up a black scarf, and tied a knot in the middle, “so you all get one of these as well. Oldest first.”
Grace nodded as she opened her mouth, and I eased the knot past her teeth before tying the band tightly round her head. “Ssllrrhhtt,” she mumbled as I rolled up the next scarf, and used it to gag Sophie, before I helped her to lie on her side with her head resting on cushions.
Once I had Mary silenced as well, I said “now you keep quiet here while I go and let your father know what’s happening. I’ll be back soon.” I left them starting to sing along to the next song, as I took the valuables Maria had shown me, and beat a retreat.
Two follow up things – I made sure their father got a message to go home a couple of hours later. And that was the plot of the next Inspector White story…
Sometimes, you need to go that little bit further to make sure everyone we visit is happy and plays along. Let me give you a case in point.
For some time, I had planned to visit the home of Grace Carrol, a local and very successful business woman. She lived alone, having recently gone through a divorce, with her three daughters – thirteen year old Angel, eleven year old Grace and ten year old Elaine.
The real thing I needed to take care of was the fact that Grace was blind – a small matter I had to take account of, but I had an idea of how to deal with it. So it was I found myself outside their detached house at seven one night, looking at the lit rooms behind the curtains.
Smiling, I picked up my rucksack from my back seat, and then made my way up to the door, making sure I was wearing my gloves as well as my stocking mask. Trying the handle, I was pleased to see the door was unlocked, and slipped in as quietly as I could.
Looking into the front room, I saw Grace sitting there with her middle daughter. Both were dressed identically – black jumpers, striped Nordic leggings, white socks and boots. Grace senior’s long blonde hair fell over her shoulders while the tops of her white socks peeked over her knee length brown boots. Her daughter was wearing shorter boots made from a taupe coloured leather, laughing as her mother explained what was happening on the screen.
That was good – because my plan was to get the other two daughters to play along first. So I made my way to the kitchen, where I could hear them talking. Looking in, I saw Angel sitting at a table, wearing a blue checked shirt dress, black tights and knee length black leather boots. Elaine was sitting next to her, wearing a grey pinafore dress with a print of white horses on it, a pink long sleeved top, white tights and black leather boots.
Smiling, I came in and closed the doors, saying “Hello there, April and Elaine – did your mummy tell you about the special surprise game she had arranged tonight?”
Angel looked at me, and said “no – what surprise game?”
“Oh dear – she was meant to tell you about this before I arrived. She’s hired me to play a game of robbers with all of you – and now I may have spoiled the surprise.”
As I smiled, I could see Angel did not believe this was a game, but then she said “a game of Robbers? Does that mean you’re going to tie us all up and keep us quiet?”
“That’s right Angel,” I said as I smiled, “and because I know your sister cannot see, I want to start with both of you, and then you can tell her what I have done before I do it to her.”
She looked at Elaine, before she said “We’re going to play this game Elaine – watch what the man does to me, and then he will do the same to you, all right?”
“Thank you,” I said as I put my rucksack down, and took some lengths of cord out. “I want to make sure neither of you can move your arms, and then we can go and surprise your mum and sister before they start playing, all right?”
“Okay – so what do you want us to do?”
“Put your hands behind your backs please,” I said as I walked behind Angel, Elaine watching as I crossed and tied her wrists tightly together, and then did the same to her. “You are a very good robber if you can do this,” she said as I passed the rope between and around her wrists, securing them firmly together as I did so.
“I am a very good robber – in character,” I said with a smile as I tied the ropes off. “So – does it hurt?”
“No – but I really cannot move my arms,” Angel said as she watched me take two longer lengths of rope out. “What are they for?”
“To make sure you really cannot move your arms,” I said with a smile as I used on length to force her arms into her sides, taking the rope in two bands around her chest, and tying it off before I did the same to her younger sister. Once I had that tied off, I said “now, we’re going to go and make sure your mother and other sister play along. Come with me.”
I opened the door from the kitchen as the two girls walked in front of me, Angel telling Elaine to let her talk to mummy, before I stood at the room to the door. “Ready,” I said, and as they both nodded I opened the door.
“Mummy,” Angel said, “the man you hired to play the game of Robbers surprised both of us, so we started to play. Is that all right?”
Grace turned and looked at me, whispering “what the” as her daughter turned her head, her eyes closed as she said “someone playing robbers?”
“That’s right,” Angel said, “he is behind us, and is dressed in black with a stocking pulled own over his head. He wants us all to play along, and we are going to play along, aren’t we Mummy?”
I knew then she had figured out what was going on, and so did her mother as she said “of course we are. Grace, your sisters have some ropes on them that are keeping their hands behind their backs, and around their bodies as well. We’ll both have those ropes on us in a few minutes, so I want you to allow this to happen. I promise you, we will all be the same eventually.”
“All right Mummy,” Grace Jr said, “so where are Angel and Elaine?”
“They are going to come and sit on the floor in front of you,” I said as the two girls walked over, and sat on the floor either side of their mother’s legs, the middle daughter moving so that her legs did not hit Angel.
“Now then,” I said as I looked at Grace, “which of you is going to have her wrists tied first?”
“Do mine,” their mother said as I walked behind her, guided her wrists behind her back, and then lashed them together with a length of rope. As I did this, Angel said “when he does it Grace, you will feel the rope around your wrists, but you won’t be able to move them apart. IT really does not hurt – it just feels funny.”
“Okay,” Grace said, nodding as I tied the rope off round her mother’s wrists, and then guided her own wrists behind her back. As I wrapped the rope round, and pulled them together, she nodded and said “you’re right Angel, I can feel the rope – and it doesn’t hurt.”
I soon had her wrists secured together as well, and then went back to my bag, taking out two longer lengths of rope. “I’m going to tie some rope round your arms and chest, to make sure you really cannot move them,” I said, both nodding as I passed the rope around their upper arms and bodies. As I tied the rope off around the younger girl, she wriggled her body round and said “It feels as if you’re hugging me Mummy.”
“That’s a good way of looking at it,” Grace Sr said as she and the other girls watched me walk to the television. “When I am finished, your mum is not going to be able to explain what is happening on the screen Grace – so if you tell me what you would like to watch, I will set it up so that it also has Audio Description.”
“All right – can we watch Mary Poppins?”
“When the time comes, yes,” I said as her mother nodded. I watched Grace as she wriggled, while kneeling in front of Angel, crossing her ankles and using more cord to tie her booted ankles together, making sure I cinched the binding between her legs as well.
“What’s that squeaking noise,” Grace Jr said as she turned her head.
“The robber is tying your older sister’s ankles together,” her mother said, “and the rope is rubbing on the leather, as well as her boots rubbing against each other.”
“Oh wow – it sounds funny,” I said as I tied the rope off, and then used a second length to tie her legs together below her knees. “Will I be able to make that noise as well?”
“Yes you will – but its Elaine’s turn next,” I said as I took two more lengths of rope, and secured the youngest daughter’s legs together in the same way. Grace laughed even more as she heard both sets of squeaking, and then her mother said “it’s my turn now.”
The two girls watched as I crossed and secured Grace Sr’s ankles together, and laughed as her own boots squeaked as well. Once I had her legs secured below her knees, she said “all right Grace – you’ll feel your ankles been pulled together in a few minutes, and then your legs. Don’t worry – once again, it doesn’t hurt, and you’ll be just like all three of us.”
“Okay mummy,” she said as I crossed her ankles, and then used the rope to pull them together. She giggled as the rope squeaked on her boots, as I pulled the rope tighter with each pass, and then between her legs as well so that they were firmly secured together. I let her try to move her legs for a minute, the other three joining in as well, before I used the last length of rope to secure the young girl’s legs together below her knees.
“We’re all the same now,” Angel laughed as they wriggled round, their mother nodding as I went to the bag, and took out a wide roll of white micropore tape.
“Now, the bad robber has to make sure you all stay quiet while the film is on.”
“How will you do that,” Grace Jr asked, and then she giggled as she heard me pull a length of tape from the roll. “That sounds very funny.”
“It is,” Angel said as she looked at her mother, and then at me. “The robber is going to put something over my mouth – listen to how I sound when he has done it.” As she put her lips together, I kneeled down and pressed the length of tape firmly over her mouth, making sure it stuck firmly to her skin.
“Oh wow – that is different. Who’s going to be next?”
“Elaine will,” her mother said as I tore another length of tape off. She looked at me, and then said “this is fun” before I pressed the tape firmly over her mouth.
“It will be my turn next,” their mother said as she looked at me. “We’re right here with you Grace, and we will all be the same, all right?”
“All right mummy,” her daughter said as I tape gagged her mother, making sure her mouth was properly covered. As I stood back, she said “Urtrrnnwgrs.”
“Does it hurt Mister Robber?”
“No – it tugs a little on your skin, but I promise you it does not hurt. When I am done, I will lie you down so that your head is on your mother’s lap. Ready?”
“Yes,” she said before she closed her lips, and I gently pressed the tape over her mouth and jaw. When I had finished, she said “mmsmsns” and then moved slightly as I gently laid heron her side, her head on her mother’s lap.
“Fnkkuu,” she said, her sisters nodding as I took the remote control and started the film, then left them to watch as I searched the house.
When I looked in again, they were all trying to sign to Chim Chiminee, so I let them watch as I departed, calling the police an hour later…
It was an old thatched cottage a couple of miles outside the town, and as I looked at the front door I wondered how long it would be before Jacob Rees and his son Robert left for their regular Sunday fishing trip. Jacob is a lawyer, and I also knew he had a fine collection of small silver items – the sort of thing I could find a use for.
Of course, there was the small matter of his wife Joanne, and the three daughters – thirteen year old Megan, ten year old Jo and seven year old Sophie. But I had a plan for making sure they all enjoyed their day as well – although it could not really start until Pops and their older brother had left.
So when I saw them coming out of the house, and putting their fishing gear into the back of the jeep, I allowed myself a sigh of relief before they drove off. Checking my bag, I waited a few minutes and then got out, turning the collar of my leather jacket up as I made my way around the side of the single storey building.
The kitchen door was unlocked, so I paused for a moment to pull the stocking down over my head, and then my gloves on, before I let myself into the old Farmhouse styled room. I could hear music in several of the rooms, which indicated they were all in their own worlds doing their own things – so I decided this was going to be a day where I divided and conquered, if you will.
Glancing in the front room, I saw Joanne sitting watching television – a large black wool scarf was wrapped loosely round her neck, covering the front of her red long sleeved top, while the legs of her dark grey trousers were tucked into a pair of sandy knee length leather boots. She was watching a film, so I decided to let her continue to watch while I quietly made my way up the stairs.
I could definitely hear three different things now, so I took a deep breath and quietly opened the first door. Megan was sitting at a desk, obviously doing some homework, while there was music coming from her phone. The blonde haired girl had on a white jacket over a red top, blue denim shorts, and brown Ugg style fur lined boots. She was oblivious to anything as I closed the door, walked over – and then put a gloved hand over her mouth as I said “Hello Megan – now stay calm, and don’t panic – your mother has hired me to play a special game with you and your sisters, as well as her, until your father and brother come home.”
“Well, it’s a game where I pretend to be a robber, and have to make sure all four of you are kept quiet and out of the way before I leave you together. So, if I start with you, will you come with me and show your sisters how we play, before we surprise your mother?”
She stood still for a moment, and then slowly nodded as I said “good – now, as part of the game, I need you to ne nice and quiet for a moment. When I take my hand away, put your hands behind your back, all right?”
“Lllrht,” she said, and as I took my hand away she said “this sounds like an exciting game – but let me tell Jo and Sophie, all right?”
“Of course – it is your game after all. Now, I first need to make sure you cannot move your arms for the game, so be a good girl and put your hands behind your back.”
“So you’re acting as a real robber,” she said as I secured her wrists together, and then tied some rope around her arms and stomach to lock them to her body.
“That’s right,” I said as I tied the ropes off. “But it doesn’t hurt, does it?”
“No it doesn’t,” she said as she wriggled round.
“Right – shall we go and see Jo or Sophie next?”
“Jo,” she said as I opened the door, and we walked to the next bedroom. As I opened the door, she looked round and said “I’ve got a surprise for you Jo – can I come in?”
“Yeah,” her sister said, and then she stared at me as I followed her in. “Hey Jo,” Megan said, “this man’s been hired by Mum and Dad to pretend to be a robber and play a game with all four of us. Want to play?”
I looked at the girl, wearing a red sleeveless dress with a tiered skirt, blue tights with red dots, and red ballet shoes, as she said “did he do that to you?”
“He did – but it doesn’t hurt, come and have a look.”
She walked over and looked at her sister, before she said to me “We’ll all be like this for the game?”
“Well, I’ll also make sure you can’t walk off, and you’ll be quiet, but your mum will join you and you can all play together. It’s just like been hugged – so, will you put your hands behind your back.”
I saw she was watching a cartoon on a portable DVD player, and said “we’ll take this with us when we go to get Sophie to play, and you can all watch this together.”
“Okay them” Jo said with a smile as she turned round and crossed her wrists behind her back, “do it to me as well.”
A few minutes later, I had her wrists secured together, and her arms tied to her sides, before I opened the door and picked up the player. “Not a word – I’ll go and fetch your mother once you are all together,” I said as we opened the door to a playroom, music coming out of a radio on a shelf. Sophie was sitting on a bean bag, reading a book as she looked up and said “coo – why have you both got rope round your arms?”
“We’re playing a game of robbers,” Jo said, “want to join in?” Sophie was wearing a long sleeved red top with a collar, a tiered skirt in the same blue and red pattern as her sister’s tights, and the same style of red ballet slippers.
“Okay,” she said with a smile, the red ribbon on her Alice band matching her top, “how do we play this?”
“I first need to do to you what I’ve done to your sisters,” I said with a smile, “so if they can sit in two of the beanbags, you can stand and talk to them while I do that. Once you’re ready, I’ll make sure you cannot stand up and walk off, and keep you quiet, then you can watch the cartoons Jo was watching while I go and get your mother ready…”
As I walked down the staircase, I could hear the DVD player, and the muffled talking, so I allowed myself a smile as I went back to the front room. Walking in, I smiled even more as she looked at me and said “what the…”
“Hello Joanne,” I said quietly, “no shouting or calling out please – I have already met with your delightful daughters, and they are waiting for you to join them and play the game of Robbers with them.”
“The game of… Oh my god, you’re a robber?”
“I am,” I said with a smile as I put my rucksack down, “and right now, your delightful daughters are in the playroom. I have them tied up, and gagged, but they think this is all a game you and your husband have arranged. To keep them from panicking and remain calm, I strongly recommend you keep the illusion up and join in. I am sure you can manage to do that until your husband and son return.”
“If you have hurt them…”
“I told you they are fine – and will remains o if you play along,” I said quietly as I took a length of cord from the rucksack. “So, I would like you to stand in front of me, and cross your wrists behind your back. Once I have your arms secured, I will take you to see the girls, and then you can take me on a tour of the house.”
“And you will not hurt us?”
“And I will not hurt you. So – your wrists?” Joanne nodded as I crossed her wrists behind her back and bound them tightly together, then took more rope and used it to bind her arms to her sides, the bands sitting above and below her chest.
“You haven’t done this to the girls have you,” she said as I pulled the ropes tighter, and then took the scarf off from round after I had tied them off.
“Not to the same extent – they have their arms tied to their sides, in a different way,” I said with a smile. “In fact, why don’t we go and see them now?” Opening the room door, I picked up the rucksack and indicated she should lead the way.
We walked up the stairs, and as I opened the door to the playroom Joanne was greeted with a chorus “hllmmmm!” The three girls were sat on beanbags, and she could see the rope that held their crossed ankles together, as well as the second band that secured their legs below their knees. The bands went around and between their limbs, while each of the girls had a rolled up bandana pulled between their lips, dark stains forming where their lips were closed over them.
“Are you enjoying the game girls,” Joanne said, smiling as all three of them nodded.
“Your mum and I are going to go for a walk round,” I said, “and then I’m going to make sure she stays in her bedroom. Once I’ve done that, I’ll take you through to her one at a time, so that you can play the last part of the game together, all right?”
All three nodded as I took Joanne out, and whispered “now – your valuables, if you please.”
We visited the office and her personal jewellery boxes, before I asked her to sit on the edge of her large bed. As she watched, I crossed and secured her ankles tightly together, taking the rope around and between her leather covered limbs, and then secured her legs together below her knees.
“Now,” I said with a smile as I took a silk scarf from my bag, and folded it into a pad, “I need you to open wide. I’ll then wrap some tape round your head and make sure you stay here, before I go and bring your daughters through. You can then try and escape if you want, or wait for your husband to come home.”
She nodded as I pushed the cloth into her mouth, and then took the roll of white tape and wound it tightly round her head. Helping her to lie on her stomach, I pulled her ankles back to a right ankle and secured them to her arms with a last length of rope, before she rolled over and watched as I left the room, the tape in my hand.
I came back first with Sophie, a band of white tape round her head and covering the cleave gag as I lay her next to Joanne. “Hllmmm” she said as she lay on her side, and I pulled her ankles back, securing them to the rope round her elbows before I left again.
When I returned, carrying Jo, I saw her mother gently pressing her taped lips on Sophie’s forehead. She rolled over and did the same as I hogtied her middle daughter, before I left once more, and returned with Megan. I out her at the foot of the bed, securing her ankles to her elbow ropes as well, all of them now with the band of white tape round her head.
“Nobody moves,” I said with a smile as I turned Joanne’s radio on, and left all four of them trying to move and talk to each other. Walking down the stairs, I smiled as I collected what I had taken, and made my way to my car…
Sometimes, as you can tell from reading these tales, we have to change plans because of unexpected callers or situations. True, it hasn’t happened to me that often, but this time it did…
The home I was visiting was the home of DeeDee Fine, one of those fitness gurus you see on television. She lived in a semi-detached house with her husband, a journalist, and her twelve-year-old daughter Emily. Now, it’s important to point out the Fine family are all fair of skin and light of hair – in fact, Emily is very much like her mother.
So as I drove up to the front of the house, I had a plan in mind. Make sure DeeDee and Emily play a game of Stay Right Where You Are, and make sure I take the valuables. Sounds a little cold when you put it like that, but…
However, I am getting ahead of myself. I was wearing black leggings, tucked into over the knee black suede boots, and a roll neck sweater under a leather jacket, so as I got out of the car and walked up to the house, I only needed to add the gloves, and pull the stocking down over my head, to be ready as I opened the kitchen door and walked in.
I could hear two people talking in the front room, so I smiled as I held my rucksack in one hand, and opened the door to the front room. Only it wasn’t DeeDee and Emily I saw there.
“Mom,” the young girl said as she looked at me, “do you know who this is?” Now, given her American accent, I knew I was in a different situation here – that and the fact both the girl and her mother were African American. The girl had her black hair braided in two pigtails that hung down one side, a yellow scrunchie at her head, and was wearing a blue long sleeved top with a metallic design on the front, grey leggings with large white dots, and a pair of black mid-calf suede boots. Her mother also had dark hair, drawn back from her forehead and held in place by a rubber band, a grey and black striped top with a black bandana round her neck, blue jeans ripped up the front and a pair of knee length laced tan leather boots.
“Oh my god,” she said as she looked at me, “who are you?”
“The question is,” I said quietly, “who are you? I was hired by Mister and Mrs Fine to spend the afternoon with her and their daughter, showing them what might happen if an intruder broke in – but I was not told of anyone else staying. May I ask who are you?”
“Carrie – Carrie Hope,” the older woman said as she put her arms round the young girl, “and this is Toni. She’s Emily’s pen pal – we were visiting, but they had to go out…”
“Ah,” I said quietly, “well, this is somewhat embarrassing – unless, of course, you want to take part in the game as well?”
“What – you’re pretending to be a burglar?”
“Yes, I am Toni,” I said as I looked at the young girl, “does that scare you?”
“A little – back home they all have guns. Do you have a gun?”
“A pretend one,” I said as I took the starting pistol out and showed them it. “So, do you want to play along?”
“What would you do?”
“Well,” I said as I thought quickly, “I think what I’d do is have you both tied to chairs, and unable to warn them when they came in, and then they can play along as well. I promise you, it won’t hurt, and once they are playing you can all help each other.”
Carrie looked at me, and then slowly nodded as she said “we’ll play along – and it’ll be a big surprise for them when they get back. They did say to make ourselves at home, after all. We’ll go and bring a chair through for each of us from the dining room.”
“I’ll come with you,” I said as I put my bag down, and went to the next room, watching as they each took a chair into the front room. As we went past, I disconnected the phone, and then said “good – Carrie, will you close the curtains over the windows please, while Toni takes a seat, and puts her arms through the gaps in the chair back.”
I watched as her mother walked over, and Toni sat in the chair, feeding her arms through the wide gaps in the chair back. Kneeling behind her, I took a length of cord, crossed her wrists and tied them together, and then tied them to the chair back.
“I can’t move my hands mom,” she said with a smile as she looked over, Carrie nodding as she sat in the other seat. I went behind her and guided her arms round the chair back, before I tied her wrists together and to the central support as well.
“Next thing I have to do is tie your bodies to the chair back – so you don’t slip and hurt yourself. Let me show you on your mom, Toni.”
As she watched, I used a longer length of rope to secure Carrie to the chair, taking it round her upper body and the chair back in two places, before I fed it through the space, under the lower band, took it up and around the back of her head, and then secured on the other side before I tied it off. As I did so, Carrie wriggled round a little, and then said “I really can’t move Toni – let the masked lady do this to you as well.”
It didn’t take my long to make Toni secure as well, but when I was done her legs were hanging over the edge of the seat. “Next, the bad lady has to secure your legs,” I said with a smile as I took two lengths of cord, crossed her ankles and tied them tightly together, the white rope sinking into the black suede, and then secured her legs together below her knees.
“What about Mom – her feet reach the floor,” she said as I tied the rope off, having pulled it between her legs to make the binding tighter.
“True – but I’m going to tie your mom’s legs in a slightly different way, so that she won’t be able to do that,” I said as I took more rope, and tied Carrie’s legs together below her knees, the band of rope sitting on the top of her boots. I then crossed and tied her ankles together, before I pulled them under the chair seat and tied a length of rope from her ankles to the chest ropes.
“See – I can’t move my legs now,” Carrie said as I stood up, and looked at both of them. “Now for the really fun bit,” I said with a smile, “where we make sure you cannot spoil the surprise for them…”
I watched from behind the curtains as the Range Rover pulled up, and DeeDee Fine got out of the driver’s seat. She was wearing a long aquamarine blue tunic dress, with a round collar and elbow length sleeves, that seemed to come to her ankles at the front, but when she turned round it was split at her back from the waist down. She was also wearing a pair of black tight leggings, and sandals.
Emily was dressed in a similar manner to her mother, but her dress came halfway down her thighs, and it had a white cord at each side that was laced up. At any rate, I said “remember, not a word,” to Connie and Toni as they sat in the chairs, and I made my way to stand behind the door.
“Sorry we’re late,” I heard DeeDee say as the front door opened and closed, “I am going to sack that instructor for not turning up on…”
“Srprrss,” Toni said through the band of white micropore tape that covered her mouth, Connie nodding and using her eyes to indicate DeeDee should look behind her.
“Hey Toni, how is… Coo, who did that to you,” Emily said as she came in.
“That would be me,” I said from behind them. “You should have let them know you had this surprise planned for today, Mrs Fine – I gave them the shock of their lives when I came in.”
DeeDee looked at me, then looked at them, before she said “oh no – I’d forgotten about that today, with you arriving and then having to take the class. Emily, your dad and I have neem worried about burglars in the area, so we contacted a firm that employs actors and actresses to pretend to do just that. It was booked for today, and they said not to tell you – as they would make it a game. But with everything…”
“So did she do that to you,” Emily said as she looked at Connie and Toni, both of them nodding. “Does it hurt?” They both shook their heads from side to side as Emily said “okay Mum – I’ll play along.”
“Thank you,” I said quietly, “I need you both now to put your hands behind your backs, while I make sure you cannot use your arms. I’m not going to tie you to chairs – I think I can do something different with both of you. I’ll make sure you cannot move or speak first Emily, and then after your mother and I go for a walk and a chat, she’ll join you in here.”
“Okay,” Emily said as I took some cord, crossing her wrists and tying them together, and then did the same to DeeDee. Using two longer lengths of rope, I tied their arms to their sides – as Emily’s dress was sleeveless, the ropes hugged her arms as I wound the rope in two bands round her upper body, and then tied them off, before I did the same to her mother, her sleeves covering her arms as they were forced into her sides.
“Have a seat for a few minutes,” I said to DeeDee as I tied her chest ropes off, “while I make sure your charming daughter stays in this room. Emily, I want you to sit on the long couch for me.”
As she sat in the chair, the others watched as I took more rope. First, I secured Emily’s ankles together side by side, and then bound her legs together below her knees, cinching each band by taking the rope between her legs. I then helped her to lie on her stomach, and pulled her legs back, the heels of her bare feet resting on her bottom as I tied her ankles to her chest ropes.
“Wow,” she said as she rolled onto her sides, “I really can’t move now.”
“And in a minute, you won’t be able to talk,” I said as I took from my bag a sponge ball, compressing it in my hands as I walked over. “Open wide now.” As she did so, I eased the sponge behind her teeth, then as she closed her lips over it I tore a length of white tape from the roll, and stuck it firmly over her face, covering her lips and jaw as I made sure it formed to her contours.
“Shddthtssswl,” Connie said as she looked at DeeDee.
“Good – now, I put the television on,” I said as I turned the device on for the girls, “and your mum will be back to play with your shortly. Shall we?”
“Remember, it’s a game girls,” DeeDee said as she looked at Toni and Emily, “so keep still – I’ll be back to play with you as soon as I can.” We walked out of the room, DeeDee waiting until I closed the door before she said “You’re not an actress are you? You’re her – the Games Player?”
“Guilty as charged,” I said with a smile, “so – please save yourself a cleaning bill, and show me where your jewellery and other valuables are…”
Fifteen minutes later, I came back in with DeeDee, Emily looking up and saying “rujjngnssnwmm?”
“I am,” she said as she sat on the floor, watching as I crossed and tied her ankles together, and then lashed her legs together, before she lay on her stomach and I hogtied her. A sponge and tape soon followed, as I put a cushion under her head, and they all tried to talk to each other. I watched for a few minutes as she tried to find a knot, and then said “I have left some scissors on the low table at the far side of the room. Feel free to stay as you are for a while, and then we’ll see who can escape first.”
And with that, I left them to enjoy the rest of the day…
One question I often get asked is what happens if it’s not just a mother and daughter, or whatever female relatives are at home when we call, but what if one of the male relative is present? Allow me to tell you what I did the last time that happened.
I was going to visit the home of one of our leading trainers of racehorses, Sir John Stevens, and when researching him and his family I learned a lot. His wife Ellen was in her early forties, with blonde brown hair, and was actively involved in the training, as was his thirteen-year-old daughter Horatia. They also had an eleven-year-old son, Gerald, but he was at boarding school. I also knew he would be away at a race meeting on this particular Saturday, leaving the family at home with only a couple of stable boys around – who never came up to the main house.
So I felt fairly confident as I walked through the forest that the main house backed on to that I would have a productive afternoon. I was wearing a black jacket over my jumper today, and hiking boots, as well as a bobble hat so that it looked as if I was on a hike, before I slipped out of the forest and over the fence, and then quickly across the back yard to the rear entrance of the farmhouse.
I already had gloves on, so it was just a case of reaching up under my hat and pulling the stocking down over my head, before I slipped into what turned out to be the rear end of the hallway. It was lined in dark wood, but as I walked along I could hear one side of a conversation through one door. I stopped by the side and looked carefully in.
Ellen Stevens was sat in a leather armchair, talking on the telephone as she ran her fingers through her hair. If Janna had been there, she would have said she needed her highlights touching up, given her dark roots were showing as her hair fell over the shoulders of her denim jacket. The sleeves were rolled up to her shoulders, and I could see the scoop necked black top underneath. The white jodhpurs hugged her legs, and they in turn were tucked into a pair of burgundy leather riding boots which came to just below her knees.
I waited until she ended the call, and watched her stand up and go to look out of the window. That gave me the opportunity to sneak quietly in and close the door – but the sound of the door closing was enough to make her turn round, and whisper “oh my god…”
“Not a word, Mrs Stevens,” I said as I quietly slipped the starting pistol from my jacket pocket, “I assure you, I am not going to hurt you, but I need you to do exactly what I say. Do you understand?”
“What… What are you going to do,” she said quietly as she looked at me.
“Well, I am going to rob you,” I said with a smile, “and I know it’s only really you and your family here, so I need to make sure none of you can stop me, or raise the alarm until I get far enough away.”
“You mean you’re going to tie us up?”
“I am – but while I know you will be worried, I promise if everyone does as I say, nobody gets hurt. In fact, I usually ask the parents to pretend to the children this is all a game that they have arranged, or that I have been hired by your insurance company to act the part of a robber.
“Act it very convincingly.” As she nodded, I said “so, when they come in – and you will eventually call them in if they do not come – you need to tell them the story they will find most convincing.”
Ellen slowly nodded as I slipped my rucksack off, and opened it, taking a length of cord out with one hand. “So, will you do as I say,” I asked quietly. She slowly nodded, as I said “good – come into the centre of the room please, and put your hands behind your back.”
As she did so, I doubled the cord over, and then crossed her wrists behind her back before I bound them tightly together, making sure I took the rope between her arms as well. As I tied the ropes off, I said “now, where is your charming daughter?”
“She’ll be…” Before she could say any more, we both saw the door handle as it turned, and I whispered “remember – tell her this is a game,” as I stood behind her, with my hand on her shoulder.
Only it wasn’t Horatia who came in – it was Gerald, who was obviously home for the weekend. He had short brown hair, and was wearing a pink, blue and white lumberjack shirt over a white t-shirt, old jeans with the shirt over the waistband, and brown walking boots. As he came in, he said “Mum, can you help me with…” and then stared at both of us.
“Gerald,” she said quietly as she looked at him, “I want you to close the door, and listen to what I’m saying very carefully.” As he closed the door, she then said “this man is robbing us Gerald – but he has promised if we do as he says, none of us is going to be hurt, so I want you to do whatever he tells you to do, just as your father and I have taught you and Horatia.”
I looked at her as she turned round, Gerald staring at her wrists, and said “we know this is a risk, and I want my children to know I trust them, so I will tell them the truth, and they will do what you ask them to do.” Gerald nodded as he looked at me, and I said “very well then – I need to tie your wrists behind your back as well, young man, so come over here.”
“Yes, sir,” Gerald said as he stood beside his mother, while I guided his hands behind his back and tied his wrists together as well. “You are a very brave young man,” I said as I wound the rope around and between his wrists, making sure he could not move them apart.
“IF you promise not to hurt us, I don’t need to be afraid,” he said quietly as he bit his lower lip, Ellen nodding and saying “he promised me he would not.”
I then took a longer length of rope from my bag, and used it to bind Gerald’s arms to his sides, taking the rope around his arms at the elbows and shoulders, before I tied it off behind her back and tied his wrists to the bands. I also took two shorter lengths, and cinched the bands between his arms and body.
“IT’s just like you or Dad hugging me Mum,” he said with a smile as I did the same to Ellen, and then picked my bag up.
“As I was saying, where is your daughter?”
“She will be in her bedroom,” Ellen said, “if you will open the doors, we can go up there.”
“Of course,” I said as I opened the door, and she and Gerald walked out in front of us while I followed them, going up the stairs and along to one door. As I opened it, Ellen said “Horatia, I need you to listen to me for a minute.”
We all came in as she turned in her seat, looking at her mother and brother with the two bands of rope round their chests. The thirteen-year-old was wearing a blue round necked top, with the sleeves rolled back, white jeans and knee length rust brown boots, her brown hair falling over her shoulders.
“Oh my god,” she said quietly, “is this a robbery?”
“It is Horatia – this man is going to tie us all up, and he is going to rob us, but I need you to remember that if we do as he says, we’ll just be inconvenienced for a while.”
The young girls nodded as she said “does it hurt Gerald?”
“No,” her brother said, “It feels really strange, but it doesn’t hurt.”
“Now then,” I said as I looked round the large room, “let’s make sure you cannot raise the alarm young lady. Come over to me, hands behind your back please.”
A few minutes later, I had Horatia’s arms as tightly secured as those of her mother and brother, as I said “now, I’m going to make sure you two stay in here, while I take your mother for a walk. I want you to sit on opposite sides of your bed, Horatia, and your mother will sit here for a few minutes.”
The young girl nodded and stood up, walking to the far side of her bed as I watched Gerald walk to the other side. As Ellen sat down, I walked over and knelt in front of Horatia, while she said “I know you’ll both be brave for all of us.”
“We will, Mum,” Gerald said as I took the rope, and bound Horatia’s ankles tightly together, making sure the rope went around and between her legs, as her boots rubbed together. I also bound her legs together below her knees, again taking the rope between her limbs as well as around, before I stood up and took a plain white scarf from my bag.
As I folded it, Horatia said “what are you going to do with that?”
“Keep you quiet,” I said with a smile, “open wide and say nothing.”
“Is he pushing that into her mouth,” Gerald said as Ellen watched me gently insert the folded cloth into her mouth, and then nodded as I said “put your lips together.” From my bag, I took a roll of white medical tape, tore a long wide strip off, and pressed it firmly over her lips and face, the tape forming to the contours as I did so.
“Whtrrusnnnw,” she said as I walked over, and knelt in front of Gerald.
“Making sure your brother is as secure and as quiet as you are,” I said as I tied his ankles and legs tightly together, and then pushed a folded black scarf into his mouth, before I pressed the tape firmly over his lips.
“Remember – keep calm, don’t struggle, and breath through your nose,” Ellen said as I helped them both to lie on the bed, facing each other as I tied their ankles to the foot of the bed, and took ropes from their chests to the top.
“Now then,” I said as they looked at each other, and I turned the radio on to provide some music, “I’ll take your mother to show me her valuables. Do remain calm and still – help will come eventually.”
The two children nodded as I took Ellen to the master bedroom, and we spent a profitable time in me looking at her jewels and her safe. Once I had done that, I helped her to lie on her bed and bound her ankles and legs together, then pulled her ankles back and tied them to her chest ropes, before I used a large gold scarf and tape to keep her quiet.
“Plsschkknthshlfren,” she said as I put her jewels into my bag.
“Of course,” I said with a smile as I went back to Horatia’s room. They were still looking at each other, as I checked the ropes, and then left them to enjoy the time together before their father returned…