Mother and Daughter Moments 29







I see the Games Players has told a tale about one of the times he had to deal with a son as well as a daughter.  Believe me, it can be quite an experience – because I’m one of the few boys who has met both of them, with my little sister, when they both called at my home a few weeks ago.


My name’s Bob – I’m fourteen, a typical teenager living in the North-East of England, playing football, computer games, watching television.  I love those old action shows – Hawaii 5-O, Charlie’s Angels, that sort of thing.  And yeah, I do get a bit excited when the girls get taken hostage.  Not just the girls though – one of the shows I love is The Professionals, and I remember one episode where a gang of assassins take over a flat so they can try and shoot someone.  The take the mum, dad and son into a bedroom, tape their wrists and ankles, and cover their mouths with sticking plaster to get out of the way.  I will admit, I wondered what it would be like to be that boy, when one of them put a leather gloved hand over his mouth as well…


Anyway – my sister Sue is ten, and has shoulder length brown hair, while my mum is a few inches taller than me with brunette hair.  Dad works for a firm that builds cars, and works shift work – so that the particular evening I’m thinking of, he was not due in until after eleven.


It was early summer, and Mum was wearing a floral print sundress.  It was sleeveless, with the top half looking as if she was wearing a corset – shaped, buttoned up the front, with wide shoulder straps that covered the tops of her arms, and a pleated skirt that came to her knees.  She was also wearing a pair of light pink sandals with straps round her ankles.


I was wearing a blue t-shirt and jeans, as well as sneakers, while Sue had on a white sundress with a pink cardigan, a white hair band holding her hair back, and white socks with pink shoes.  We were both sitting at the kitchen table, finishing our homework, while Mum was preparing our tea.


“I’m finished Mum,” I said as I closed the book, “can I go and watch the television now?”  She turned and looked at me, and then at Sue as she said “are you finished as well?”


“Yes Mummy,” she said as she put her pencil down.


“Okay then – on you go,” she said as we went into the front room, and turned on the television.  It was Scooby Doo – a show Sue likes - so I said nothing as we sat down to watch.  A few minutes later, Mum came in and said “Right – the food is in the oven now.  I’m going upstairs to sort some washing out.”


“Okay Mum,” I said without looking round, and I heard her walking up the stairs.  A few minutes later, I heard someone at the front door, so I called up “I’ll get it” and left Sue to watch the program.


I could see a couple of people through the frosted door, so I opened it and said “hello, how ca…”


My little speech was cut short as I was picked up and carried into the house by the man who was standing outside, the woman with him coming in and closing the door behind herself.  Both of them were wearing dark leather jackets, jumpers and jeans, as well as sneakers – and a balaclava covering their heads, meaning I could only see their eyes and lips.


Oh yeah – and leather gloves on their hands, as the man kept his large hand over my own mouth as he held me.  I could smell the leather as I inhaled, and said nothing as he held me tight.


“Hello,” the masked woman said quietly as she looked at me, “you must be Bob.  My friend and I were invited here by your mum – she knows how much you like those old action programs, and we run a company that help families live out those adventures.”


“Ewwdd,” I said into the glove – and I have to admit, at that point I was wondering if this was a game.


“So,” the woman continued, “we need to talk to you and your sister, and explain what’s going to happen.  If you go with my friend here, I can go and let your mother know we are here.  Where is she?”


I indicated with my eyes as she looked at the staircase.  “thank you Bob,” she said quietly as she walked to the staircase, and the man whispered into my ear “let’s join your sister – you can tell her this is a game, agreed?”


I nodded as we walked in, Sue turning to look at us, and then looking again.


“Hello Sue,” the man holding me said, “I’m here so that you, and your brother, and your mother, can play a very special game.  So I need you to be very quiet, and listen to what I say, all right?”


As Sue nodded he said to me “go and draw the curtains over the windows, then sit with your sister.”  I nodded as he let go of me, and I slowly walked over - trying not to show how excited I was, as I then went and sat with Sue.  “It’s going to be a great game Sue,” I said quietly, “and they’re not going to hurt us, are you?”


“Of course not,” he said with a smile as we heard the footsteps, and then Mum came in with the masked lady.  “Surprise,” she said with a smile, “we’re going to have a great game together after dinner – these actors are going to pretend they are holding us hostage while they do something.  I know it sounds scary, but we’re going to make it fun, all right?”


“yes Mum,” I said as Sue nodded as well.


“Good,” the woman said, “now, your Mum is going to come with me and finish cooking your tea, and then we’ll play the game, all right?”


We both nodded as the man said “So, has Daphne been caught yet?”




“Thank you Mum,” Sue said as she took the plate, and we started to eat the pasta bake.  We were all sitting at the table, while the masked man and woman stood at the side of the kitchen.


“SO what’s going to happen once we have eaten our dinner,” Mum said as she looked at the woman.


“We’re going to make sure you all stay in the same room,” she said with a smile, “while we go about our work.  But as I said, if you…”


She suddenly looked up as the doorbell rang, and the masked man and woman moved.  He came behind me and clamped his gloved hand over my mouth as she hand gagged Sue, and I heard him say “whoever it is, get rid of them as quickly as possible.”


“Okay – remember kids, it’s just a game,” she said as she stood up and went to the front door.  I look over at Sue, who had her eyes wide open, and mumbled “Ruullrht?”


“Usndfnneee” she said as we looked at each other, while Mum was talking to someone in the hallway.  “Quiet now,” the masked woman said as we heard the door close, and then Mum came back in, saying “it was just a neighbour with a parcel” as she sat back down.


“Good,” the man said as he took his gloved hand away, “you’re not expecting any other visitors, are you?”


She shook her head as she said “eat up kids…”


When we had finished, the masked man said “all right – we need to make sure you can’t disturb us while we go about our business.  We need to make sure you two kids stay safe in one place while we talk to your mum.”


“And how will you do that,” Sue asked, as I felt a little thrill – I could guess the answer. 


“We need to tie you up, like the bad guys do to Daphne,” the woman said as she took two lengths of white cord from her pocket, “so I want you both to lean forward, and put your hands behind your backs.”


“It’s all right,” Mum said as I looked at her, “they will do the same to me, but I want you to go first so that you know there’s nothing to be afraid of.”


“We’ll do it mum – it’ll be fun,” I said as I leaned forward, and put my hands behind my back, trying not to show my excitement as the man crossed my wrists and started to tie them together.  I was going to find out exactly how it felt!  Sue looked less certain as the woman took her hands behind her back, but then she said “it’s not so bad” as her own wrists were secured.


The man then took another length of cord from his pocket, before he tied Mum’s wrists behind her back as well, and then said “We also need to tie your arms to your sides.  I want you both to see what I do for your mother first, all right?”


We both nodded and watched as he left the room, and then returned with a longer length of rope.  He doubled it, and then passed it round her arms under her chest, Mum smiling as he pulled it tighter, and then passed it round her body again above her chest.  He made several more passes, before he tied the ropes off behind her, and I saw the bands framing her chest.  It made me feel a bit funny as I looked at her – and then I was aware the masked man was tying my arms in the same way, while the masked woman tied Sue’s arms to her sides.


“It feel like you’re giving me a hug mummy,” Sue said as I watched the ropes get tighter, and her arms forced into her sides, but she seemed to be enjoying it – and to tell the truth, so was I.


I tried to wriggle round after he had finished, but I knew I couldn’t move my arms either, as the masked man and woman helped us and Mum to stand up and we walked out of the kitchen, and towards the staircase.  As we walked up, the woman said “do you keep your scarves anywhere?”


Mum looked at her, and said “in a drawer upstairs – why?”


“No reason,” the man said as we were walked up the stairs, and into my bedroom.  “This will do,” the man said as he looked at us, “you two can stay here for a while, and then we’ll make sure you’re with your mother.  Now, hop on the bed, and cross your ankles for me.”


“Come on Sue – we can play together,” I said as I walked over and sat down, Sue next to me as her legs hung over the side.  The woman put down a rucksack she was carrying, and took out four more lengths of the white rope, which she used to tie our ankles together, and then our legs below our knees – Sue had her skirt raised a little to do that.


Well, now I knew what it felt like to be tied up – I wriggled my legs as well, Sue giggling as she did the same.  The masked lady then left the room, and came back with two of Mum’s patterned scarves.  Rolling one into a band, she stood in front of Sue and said “time for you to keep quiet – open your mouth please.”


“Will it be all right Mum,” she said as she looked at our mother.  She smiled, nodded and said “it’ll be all right Sue – tell me how it feels.”  I could only watch as my sister opened her mouth, and the woman pulled the rolled up scarf between her lips, tying the band round her head and making sure the knot was at the base of her neck.  She tried to move her lips over it for a few minutes, before she said “ssllrrhtmmee.”


“Good,” the man said as he took a black bandana with a white pattern on it, rolled it into a band and stood in front of me.  I swallowed – I really wanted to know what it felt like to have my mouth covered with tape – but as he pulled the cotton band between my teeth, I tasted it as it pressed my tongue down, and I had to admit – this was just as good.


“Stay there,” the woman said as she helped us to lie on our sides, facing each other, and then they took Mum out of the room.  I watched as Sue wriggled round, and I did the same, both of us wanting to see if we could get free.


But they were both very good at their job, so we had to wait until the masked woman came back in, with two juice cartons that had straws in the top.  She helped us to sit up, untied and removed the scarves, and then let us both take a drink.


“Now then,” she said as she brushed the hair from our faces, “your mum wants you to be with her for the next part of the game, but she wants you both to be just like her, and that includes the way she is kept quiet.  So, I need you both to open your mouths as wide as possible.


“Do me first,” I said, Sue watching as she folded the bandana, and then pushed it into my mouth so that it filled it.  To my delight, she then took from her pocket a wide roll of brown sticking plaster, tore off a strip, and pressed it firmly over my mouth!  I felt the tug on my skin, and I knew I was not going to be able to talk now.  And it felt so nice…


She then folded one of my handkerchiefs, and used it to stuff Sue’s mouth before she taped that over as well, and then she carried her out of the room, returning a few minutes later to get me.  Sue and Mum were lying on their stomachs on Mum and Dad’s bed, and I could see the plaster over Mum’s mouth as well as the masked man was tying Sue’s ankles to the ropes round her chest.


I remembered that scene from the TV series – the mum was sitting on the floor, the dad face down, the son on his back – but as she laid me on the bed, rolled me over and tied my ankles to my chest ropes, I knew this was way better!


Mum looked at both of us and nodded as the man said “we need to do what we came here to do now – we’ll check on you every so often.”  As they went out of the room, Mum rubbed her plaster covered mouth on both our cheeks, as we listened to the radio and tried to wriggle round…


I guess I fell asleep at some point, because the next thing I remember was Dad saying “what the…” and Mum trying to speak to him as we all wriggled round.  He took the plaster from our mouths – and I saw Mum had a folded scarf in hers as well – and then she told us the biggest secret of all.


We really had been robbed – they were the couple the press called the Games Players, and she had gone along so we would not be afraid.


Somehow, that made it all the more exciting – and I wondered if it would ever happen again…




As you can imagine, Janna’s news while we were away for the weekend came as a shock – but she was right, she had to step back from doing many visits for her health, and that of the baby, which is why I was on my own in Wolverhampton this fine Thursday evening.


The object of my visit this time was the home of the manager of one of the local department stores – yes, I know, very old school, but my intention was not to rob the store, just to visit his home, take what I could find of value, and invite his wife Eleanor and their eleven-year-old daughter Casey to play a game of robbers.  Eleanor was a local councillor – and it was in that role I had seen pictures of them at local events.


Anyway – I had travelled there by public transport, so I was setting myself a little task to use what was available in the house, as I walked up to the front door.  As usual, I was dressed in black, and made sure I had my gloves on and had pulled the stocking down over my head before I took the direct approach – ringing the doorbell.  As I said, I wanted to test myself on this one.


A moment or two later, the door was opened by Eleanor, who stared at me as I said “good evening” and walked in, making her step back as well.  She had short dark hair, and was wearing a black cardigan over a black top with a zip at the front, and a white leaf pattern on it, knee length pants and black sandals.


She looked at me, and was about to speak when I put my gloved hand over her mouth, and said “not a word please – I need you to listen very carefully.  I am going to rob you, and I know only you and your daughter are at home, so I need to make sure neither of you can stop me.  Nod if you understand?”


She slowly nodded her head up and down, as I said “good – now, I want you to help me to keep Casey calm, by telling her this is all a special game you and your husband arranged.  I leave it to you to say how you are going to do that, understand?”


I saw her eyes flicker for a moment, and then she nodded again as I removed my hand.  “Good – where is Casey?”


“She is in the front room, reading,” Eleanor said, “but if you are going to do this, you need to let me explain in my way.  I need to be able to use my hands for a while.”




She sighed as she said “Casey is deaf – we use sign language.”


Nodding, I said “very well then – do you have any rope in the house?”


“No – but we have duct tape?”


I nodded as I said “good – show me.”


We walked into the kitchen where she took from a store cupboard a large roll of the silver tape.  “Very well then,” I said quietly, “before we go and talk to Casey, show me where you keep your valuables.  I think if I tied you and then looked, it might be worse.”


Eleanor nodded as she took me up the stairs, and showed me where she kept her jewellery, watching as I selected certain items.  We then walked down the stairs, entering the front room as Casey sat on the chair.  The young blonde haired girl was wearing a long sleeved dress with a black and white geometric pattern, the skirt of which came to her knees, yellow leggings and grey-white slippers.  She looked up at me as her mother sat next to her, and then at her mother.


“Casey,” Eleanor said as she used her hands to talk to her daughter, “this man is an actor, hired by me and your father, because we wanted to surprise you with a special game.”


Casey looked at me as she nodded and used her own hands.


“She’s asking what the game is,” Eleanor said, before looking at Casey.  “He is pretending to be a bad man who is robbing us, and as part of the game, he is going to make sure we both stay in this room.  When he is done, I will not be able to speak to you with my hands, but neither will you.”


She nodded as she moved her hands, and Eleanor said “will it hurt me?”  I shook my head from side to side, as Eleanor said “no – what he will do, he will do to me first, so you will see it does not hurt.  We can then watch the new film we bought with the words on the screen together, all right?”


As Casey smiled and nodded, Eleanor went to the television and turned it on, then switched on the Blu-ray player and put Finding Dory in.  Coming back, she put the remote on the coffee table, and then looked at me as she said “so what do we do first?”


“Tell Casey to sit right back on the couch,” I said, “and then put your feet on the coffee table, crossing your ankles.  Tell her the first thing the bad man has to do is tape your ankles and legs together, so that it is difficult for you to move about.”


As she spoke with her hands, Casey nodded and pushed herself back, her feet hanging off the edges of the cushions as I took the tape, and wrapped it tightly round her mother’s ankles, making sure they were held firmly together before I took the tape, and secured her legs together below her knees.


“See,” Eleanor said as she used her fingers again, “I cannot move my legs apart.  It’s your turn now, Casey?”  The young girl nodded and crossed her own ankles, watching as I taped her ankles together, and then taped her legs together, the silver band over the yellow cloth as I wrapped it round.


“Does it feel good,” Eleanor said, Casey nodding as she used her own hands again.


“She says if I cannot use my hands, she will not understand – so she wants you to let her go first.”


“If that is what you want,” I said, Eleanor using her hands again as Casey nodded.  “Tell her to put her hands behind her back for me.”  As the young girl did so, I took the tape and crossed her wrists before I taped them together, Eleanor talking and using her hands all the time as Casey nodded.


I then wrapped the tape around her stomach, making sure her lower arms were secured to her body, and then around her upper arms and shoulders.  As I tore the tape off and smoothed it off, I said “can you ask her if she is all right?”  Eleanor said that and used her hands, Casey nodding as she looked at me, and then at her mother.


“First, the man is going to make sure I cannot speak – watch.”  She looked at me and nodded as I tore a strip of tape off, and then smoothed it over her mouth, Casey watching as I reinforced the tape gag with three more strips.  She nodded as I pressed the third strip down, and signed to her daughter, who nodded and looked at me, her lips together.


I taped over her mouth as well, and then secured her mother’s wrists behind her back, then her arms to her sides with two bands above and below her chest.  Casey moved over and rested her head on her mother’s chest as they looked at me, and then I started the film, before I set off.


I made sure to contact Casey’s father a half hour later, so that he could go home and find them…




Craft is an important way of learning new skills, and of bonding as a family.  Bear that in mind as I tell the tale of Davina and Essie.


It was going to be my last solo trip for a while – given the baby was on the way, and sooner or later I was going to start showing – and the woman in question ran a small craft shop in the centre of town.  A very profitable craft shop – and Davina lived with her husband and their eleven year old daughter Essie in a nice little detached house off the town centre.  The fact that Dad was the local bank manager also helped.


Especially as it was Late Shopping on the late spring evening I pulled up outside their house, and checked the contents of my rucksack before I headed out.   It was getting dark and cool, so I zipped up my bomber jacket and then walked quickly up to the front door, smiling as I turned the door handle and let myself in.


I could hear the conversation from the front room, so I closed the door, pulled he stocking mask down over my head, and then walked quietly along, taking a deep breath before I walked in and said “hello Davina, Essie – surprise!”


The mother and daughter were sitting on an old blue couch, a length of cord between them which had tied to it a selection of ribbons, decorations and even a green framed chalkboard.  “Who are…” Davina said as she looked at me, Essie staring silently.


The young girl was wearing a top with darkening green and blue panels from the pale green shoulder straps to the dark blue hem, a pair of knee length denim cut-offs, and open toed sandals with multi-coloured plastic straps.  Her mother was wearing denim Capri pants, which came just below her knee, and a brown vest top with white dots in a splatter pattern.  On her feet, she had black open toed sandals.


“I’m sorry to interrupt,” I said with a smile, “but you did ask me to come tonight and help you and Essie to play a very special game – remember?”


Davian looked at her daughter, and then nodded as she said “oh yes – we’re going to play a game where this lady is going to pretend to take us hostage Essie.  Just do as she says, and we’ll be fine?”


“Hostages?  Are you going to stop us moving and talking,” she said as she looked at me?


“I am – or rather, you and your mother are going to,” I said quietly as I took my rucksack off and opened it.  “I’m going to teach you how to make you both brightly coloured parcels, waiting for your dad to open when he gets back in a little while.”


“Oh?  How?”


“Let me show you,” I said with a smile, “but first, I need your mum to come with me for a minute, all right?”


Essie nodded as Davina stood up, her long brown hair falling over her shoulders as she came out with me.  “Don’t hurt us,” she whispered as she looked at me.


“I won’t if you play along,” I said quietly, “and do nothing to raise the alarm.  Where is your mobile phone?”


She glanced at the handbag hanging on the back of the chair as I nodded.  “Good – let’s go back in, and follow my lead.”  As we went back in, I took out of my rucksack a wide roll of red plastic tape.


“now then Essie,” I said as I smiled at her, “You get to start to make your mum a parcel first.  I want you to take this roll of tape, and wind it tightly round your mum’s ankles a few times, so that they get stuck together.”


“It’s all right Essie,” Davina said as she sat back on the couch, “do as the lady says, and then I can do the same to you.”


“Okay Mum,” the young blonde haired girl said as she peeled the end of the tape free, and then wound it round Davina’s ankles, her mother nodding and encouraging her to make it tight as she did so.  She made about eight passes round before I cut the tape free, and she smoothed it down.


“Now,” I said quietly, “do the same thing around her legs under the bottom of her pants.”  Davina watched as Essie did the same thing there, and then handed the tape to me after she had smoothed it down.


“Now then,” I said with a smile, “you sit on the couch, and put your feet on your mum’s lap – she’s going to do the same thing to you.”  Essie nodded as she sat down and put her feet on her mother’s lap, watching as Davina secured her ankles and her legs below her knees in the same way.


“Now then,” I said as Essie moved her legs so that they hung over the edge of the seat, and I replaced the roll of blue tape with a roll of green tape, “your mum is going to shuffle forward a little, and I want you to tape her legs together above her knees.”


“Like this,” Essie said as Davina moved forward slightly, and she wrapped the green tape around her mother’s legs, securing them together and then waiting for me to cut the tape before she smoothed it down.  Handing the roll to her mother, she watched as Davina taped her legs together as well.


“IT sounds funny,” Essie said as she tried to move her legs, the tape crinkling.


“So will you in a minute,” I said with a smile as I took a roll of yellow tape out.  “Now that we have your legs wrapped up like a parcel, it’s time to make your arms stay to your sides in the same way.  Now, your mum could do this to you, and then I do her, or the other way round.  Which would you like it to be?”


“Can Mum make me the parcel?”


I nodded as I handed the roll of yellow tape to Davina, and said “before I do that, I want to make sure you both stay quiet, so you need to do something else first.”


“Why?” Essie asked as she looked at me.


“Because hostages cannot talk very easily – but you’re going to do it to each other,” I said as I took two sponge balls and handed one to each of them.  “the first stage you have to do to yourself – make these as small as possible, and put them in your mouths.  In there, they’ll stop you from talking until your dad comes home.”


“It’s all right, Essie,” Davina said, “we’ll do it together.  Ready?”


“Ready Mum,” the young girl said as they opened their mouths, and pushed the sponges in, closing their lips as they looked at each other.


“Tflslsfnnnmm,” Essie said, and then she giggled as her mother shook her head.


“Now then,” I said as I tore from a roll of white micropore tape a long strip, and handed it Essie, “I want you to press this firmly down over your mother’s mouth, so that the sponge stays in there.”   I watched as Davian leaned down, and her daughter pressed the medical tape into place, giggling as the shape of her mother’s lips appeared.


“Urtrrnnw,” Davina said as I handed her a second strip, and then she pressed it over her daughter’s mouth, giggling herself as Essie tried to move her mouth.


“Now,” I said as I looked at Davina, “use the yellow tape to make sure Essie’s arms stay died to her sides.”  I watched as she wrapped the tape around the younger girl’s arms and chest, and then I handed her a roll of blue tape which she used to tape her wrists together in front of herself.


I then secured Davina’s arms and wrists in the same way, before she shuffled back on one side, and I helped Essie to lie down with her head on her mother’s lap.  Turning the television on, I left them alone and made my way out to look round the house.


When I looked back in half an hour later, Essie had her eyes closed, Davina watching as I checked the tape, and then left them for the man of the house to find…




I have read a lot of reports and stories about the Games Players, who they are, and what they did, but there is something I’ve very rarely seen – the viewpoint of the mother while they are ‘visiting’.  There are stories of the family playing games after that, but I want to tell you what it was like for me the time the male Games Player called on our house.


I’m not going to tell you my name – and as to where I live, it’s in the Home Counties.  My husband works in the city, and we have two daughters - eight year old Anna and seven year old Roberta.  The particular day this happened, the girls were at home with me, as it was a school training day, and we had decided we were going to have a dress up day.  It was Anna who suggested we dress up as ladies, and she came down that morning wearing a black sleeveless party dress, which had a round collar with silk dots on it, white tights and black sandals.  Her blonde hair was held back with a red hairband, and she had on a pair of my old pearl opera gloves, which came up over her elbows.


Not to be undone, Roberta went on put on her own black party dress.  It was also sleeveless, with a silk top half and a taffeta skirt, and she had a multcoloured head band on, as well as blue sandals.  There was also a little bow on the front.


So I knew the style was party and black – I gave them their breakfast, and went to shower and change myself.  I put on a black lace evening dress, which came to my knees, black tights and black block heeled sandals, and a black band to hold my own blonde hair back.  I also put on a sheer cardigan, which covered my bare arms.


So there we were, ready for the day, as I made my way down the stairs.  The girls were sitting in the front room, drawing on their pads, so I went into the kitchen and cleared up after breakfast – which was when the day took a very different turn.


I had put the dishes into the dish washer, turned it on, turned round – and there he was.  He was a few inches taller than me, and was wearing a black leather jacket over a jumper and jeans, black sneakers, black leather gloves on his hand – and a black stocking that was pulled down over his head, flattening his hair as he smiled – and pointed a gun at me.


I remember the smile, as he told me to remain calm and quiet, so that the girls didn’t get upset.  Nodding, I asked him what he was doing there, and he was honest – he said he was there to rob me, and in order to do that, he had to make sure the girls as well as myself were kept, as he put it, “quiet and out of the way.”


I felt a real chill as he said that, and then he said he also wanted to do it in a way that would not frighten the girls – and that was for me to help him to pretend this was a game they were all going to play, and he was a colleague from my workplace who had agreed to do this!


He smiled again as I stared at him, and realised two things.  First, he was not joking – and second, this must be the so-called ‘Games Player.”  I had no wish to frighten my girls, and so I said I would do as he asked – if he let me talk to them first before he did anything.  I had an idea already of how to make this a game for them, if not for me.


He looked at me for a moment, and then said he agreed, so long as I remained calm.  Nodding, I walked with him to the front room, and as the girls looked up I told them that I had a friend here was going to play a very special game with all three of us.  I had called him to ask him to come round, and hold three members of the aristocracy for ransom!


This was the moment I knew would mean the difference between my daughters being calm and safe, and fear taking over – and I was so proud of Roberta when she said she would play, and Anna agreed.  The man then said what he was going to do was make sure the two lovely daughters of the duchess stayed where they were until he had their mother in his lair, and then he would come and take them to her.


As he opened the bag, he took out two lengths of cord, and gave them to the girls to hold while he took a third length out.  He then said he had to start by making sure all three of us could to use our hands, and guided mine behind my back.  I told the girls to watch what he was doing, so they walked either side of us and watched as he doubled the cord over, and tied my wrists tightly together.  The rope went around and between my arms, as I felt him force them together, but it wasn’t uncomfortable – just tight and secure.


Once he had tied the ropes off, he asked the girls which of them wanted to go first.  Anna handed him the cord, and put her hands behind her back, Roberta watching as he tied her wrists together over the gloves.  When he had finished, he tied Roberta’s wrists as well, smiling as he said they were both very good hostages.


I smiled as well, as he said he also had to make sure we could not move our arms.  Taking a longer length of rope, he tied it round Anna’s arms and stomach like a double figure of eight, Roberta asking if he would do the same to her.  He nodded, and before long, as I watched, he had them sitting next to each other on the couch, their arms secured to their sides and their hands behind their backs.


Anan asked if he was going to do the same to me – but he said because I was the duchess, I needed a bit more rope at the moment.  He also promised that later, he would make sure we looked the same – which was he doubled over the longest length of rope I had even seen, and wrapped it round my upper body, above and below my chest, forcing my cardigan to the side of my chest as my arms were held in place.


I was then asked to sit in a seat, as he took two lengths of rope, and secured the ankles of my daughters, like with their wrists taking the rope around and between their legs.  He also tied their legs together below their knees, as they and I watched.


Anna said they weren’t going anywhere, Roberta nodding in agreement as I smiled at them.  They were really getting into the game, and had no idea what was really going on. 


Anyway, the masked man then turned on the television to a kid’s channel, and said he had to make sure the duchess was unable to raise the alarm before he brought her daughters to her.  But he also said they needed to be kept nice and quiet, as he took from his rucksack a black bandana, and rolled it into a band.


He asked Anna to open her mouth as wide as she could, and when she did so he eased the band between her teeth, telling her to bite down on it as he tied the band tightly round her head.  Roberta asked her to say something, but all Anna could do as mumble – which Roberta thankfully found very funny!


Especially when he used a second scarf as a gag on her, and told them both to sit quietly and watch television – they would be joining me in a few minutes.  They both nodded as he took my arm, helped me to stand up, and then walked me out of the room – disconnecting the telephone from the wall socket as we went past.


You can guess what happened over the next few minutes – he walked me round the house, making me show him where our valuables were, and helping himself to them.  Eventually, however, we found ourselves in my bedroom, and he made my sit on the bed while he took more ropes, securing my ankles and legs in the same way as my daughters.


He then went to my wardrobe, and took out a long black chiffon scarf, which he used as a gag on me.  I thought that would be it, but then he produced from his rucksack a wide roll of black tape, and tore off a strip.  He pressed that firmly over my lips and jaw, where it almost seemed to form a second skin, and made it impossible for me to talk.


Making me lie on my back, he secured my ankles to the foot of the bed, and then picked up his rucksack before he left the room.  Well, I tried to get free, but the ropes were too tight, the knots well out of reach, and I was unable to make any sound above a soft whimper.


When he came back, he had Roberta in his arms – but I could see he had tied another length of rope around her upper arms and chest, so that she looked as if she was tied like me – and a strip of the black tape covering her mouth and jaw as well.  She looked at me as she was laid next to me, and said “thssfnmmmee” as she rubbed her head on my shoulder.


He then brought Anna up, putting her on the other side of me and then watching as they settled next to me.  He told them he was going to collect the ransom, and would be back soon, as they nodded and rested on me.  I didn’t wat to try and move, to scare them so we lay there - until my husband came home, having had a phone call to say we were tied up at home…




The hottest theatre tickets in town at the moment have to be for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – and from the crowds waiting outside the Cambridge Theatre when I’ve walked past on occasion, it is certainly very popular with Hogwarts fans of all ages.  This particular Saturday afternoon, I was watching as the matinee performance audience came out – because Janna had given me a challenge.


She was concerned I wasn’t being ‘spontaneous enough’ as she put it, so she challenged me to pick a mother and daughter from the group leaving the theatre, follow them home, and get them to play a game with no foreplaning whatsoever.  She knew I was going to be away in the US for a few weeks – my annual visit – and she wanted to be sure I was ready for whatever opportunities arose.


I watched for a while, and then smiled as I saw a woman with long chestnut coloured hair, in her early forties, come out of the theatre.  She was wearing a grey checked jacket over a knee length black dress, dark tights, and black mid-calf leather boots that had a small square heel.


With her was a twelve year old girl, her light brown hair in pigtails, but she was wearing the strangest form of a school uniform I had ever seen.  It started with a long sleeved white blouse, the sleeves a little too long for her, and a tartan tie round her neck.  Around her stomach and waist was a black girdle, and that sat on top of a tiered denim skirt that came over her knees.  I could see the black tights on her legs, and the black leather boots, but the kicker was the way she was swinging her wand around and reciting spells.


Well, I knew who I was going to visit now, as they made their way towards Leicester Square Underground station, and I followed as closely as I could.  They boarded a Northern line train, and I sat near them, with my rucksack on my knees.


Eventually, they got off at Woodside Park station, and walked along the road before turning into Woodside Avenue.  A short distance along, they turned and walked up a driveway to a two storey detached house, the girl watching as her mother unlocked the door and they went in.  There wasn’t a car outside, and as the lights went on I guessed they were the only ones in.


Looking up and down the street, I walked quickly up the side of the driveway, and round the side of the house, putting on my gloves and my stocking mask as I did so.  Working round to the back of the house, the windows were dark, and it only took me a few minutes to get into the kitchen, closing the door behind myself.


I could hear them talking in the house, and as I made my way along the hallway the girl was extolling the virtues of the play.


“All right Myrtle,” her mother eventually said, “I know you enjoyed it, and you can tell your father all about it when he gets home at nine tonight.”


I check my watch – six o’clock, and I had enough time.  Taking a deep breath, I walked in and said “hello Myrtle – did your mum tell you she had a surprise for you tonight?”


Both Myrtle and her mother turned and looked at me, as I said “I hear you really enjoyed the play – well, I’m playing the part of an escaped prisoner from Azkaban, who has to hold the young witch and her mother hostage!”


“Oh no,” Myrtle said with a giggle, “did Delphi Diggory send you?”


Now, fortunately, I had read up on the plot, so I said “yes she did – and I command you to do what I say.”


Her mother looked at Myrtle, and then at me with the stocking covering my face, before she said “we had better do as he says, Myrtle, he seems a powerful wizard.”


“I am indeed – so listen to your mother, because I need to use the Incarcerous spell on you to keep you secured.”


“Oh no,” Myrtle said as she laughed, and then stood stock still, as if she was wrapped in rope.  “Are you really going to use rope on me?”


“Yes I am,” I said as I took my rucksack off, opened it and took out a length of rope, “on both of you, in fact, but I do need to make sure you stay in one place.  I then will take your mother somewhere to hide you, before I transport you to her side.  But for now, both of you, please put your hands behind your backs.  I’m going to tie your wrists there.”


“I’ll play the game as well,” her mother said, “and we’ll see what happens at the end.”  Myrtle nodded as I made sure that both of them had their wrists crossed and tightly secured behind their backs, before I took a longer length of rope and wrapped it round the young girl to keep her arms secured to her sides, taking it round in two bands – one sitting on top of the girdle, the other around her upper arms and shoulders.  Two smaller lengths were then used to tighten the bands between her arms and body.


“He is very good at the Incarcerous spell,” Myrtle said as she wriggled round, then watched as I bound her mother’s arms to her body, taking the rope above and below her chest in her case, and then cinching the bands in the same way as her daughter.


“Yes he is,” her mother said as I tied the cinching ropes off, and then said “I want you, Myrtle, to lie on your back on the couch, while I complete how you will be after the Incarcerous spell is cast.”  The young girl nodded as she sat on the long couch, and then lay on her back, watching as I used a length of rope to secure her ankles tightly together, making sure I passed it between her legs as well to tighten it.  She giggled as she tried to move her legs, the leather of her boots squeaking as they rubbed against each other, and then as I folded her skirt back and tied her legs together below her knees – replacing the skirt afterwards, of course.


“Now then, the bad wizard is going to take your mother somewhere to hide her, and then he is coming back for you,” I said, “but I cannot have you raising the alarm.  Silencium!”

Myrtle immediately clamped her lips shut and started to try to speak, but I said “open your mouth for me first” and then put a clean folded handkerchief in behind her teeth.  As she closed her lips over that, I took a roll of white medical tape, tore off a wide strip, and pressed it firmly down over her mouth and jaw so that she was very effectively silenced.


“I’ll see you soon Myrtle,” her mother said, the young girl nodding as she rolled onto her side, and watched me take the older woman out of the room.  “Now then, O learned mother,” I said quietly, “show me where your valuables are, so that I can make them disappear…”


“What will happen when you go,” she said quietly as we walked up the stairs.


“I’ll leave you together, with something to watch, and I’m sure you’ll be fine until your husband gets home,” I said as I held my rucksack, “so, after you…”




Myrtle looked up and said “whrrsmmmfr” as I walked back into the room.


“Why, I’m here to take her to you, and I have something very special to entertain you until the officers from the Ministry of Magic find you,” I said with a smile.  “Leviosa Myrtle!”


She giggled as I lifted her in my arms, and carried her up the staircase, and into her parent’s bedroom.  “Hmmgdgdthrrurrr,” her mother said as she sat on the bed, her ankles and legs secured in the same way as Myrtle, and a wide strip of white medical tape covering her lips and mouth – in her case, with a folded scarf behind the tape.


I sat Myrtle next to her mother, and used a last length of rope to secure her wrists to the headboard, before I went to the portable DVD player at the foot of the bed, and started the show of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

“Fnnkkumstrrbdwsrd,” Myrtle mumbled, as I bowed and said “forgive me ladies – I hear the Ministry are on their way, so I must depart,” and left them to enjoy the film…




Okay – this one was unplanned, and although I said I was standing down, when the opportunity presented itself, I just had to do it.  If nothing else, it helped two women with their desires…


I was attending my ante-natal appointment, and there were two women waiting to be seen before me, both obviously nearly ready to give birth.  One was wearing a blue denim shirt dress, with black leggings and silver trainers, and had a black hijab covering her head and shoulders.  I could see her daughter, who would have been about seven, to the side at the toys.  Her black hair was platted into a ponytail, and she was also wearing a denim shirt dress, in her case over a black top, the sleeves of both up to her elbows, as well as black leggings and silver trainers.


The blonde haired girl she was playing with was wearing a short sleeved blue smock top, with a floral print, blue knee length leggings and white sandals.  She was the same age as the first girl, and as I looked round I saw her mother talking to the other woman.  She was very heavily pregnant, the bump visible under her blue gull winged shirt dress, and her feet in brown sandals.


Anyway, I went in for my appointment, and came out to make my next one, when I heard them talking.


“I want this to be over, Katy?”


“I know what you mean Serena – listen, want to bring Neela round with you?  She can play with Suzie while we have a coffee…”


I took my appointment card, and on a whim followed them out of the clinic, and then onto a bus as it wound its way to the outskirts of town.  It would have been about 11.30 by the time I saw them walk into a semi-detached house, and made my way to a local hardware store…




I was wearing my brown leather jacket, which I zipped up to my neck, tight brown leggings and knee length boots, so as I pulled on my gloves, and adjusted the stocking I had taken from the freshly bought packs over my head, I was ready to give the two girls and their mothers a slightly more exciting afternoon.  Letting myself in through the front door, I could hear the girls playing with each other in the front room, and the mothers talking in the kitchen.  So I decided to ask the girls to play along first, standing in the room as I closed the door quietly behind me.


“Who are you,” Neela asked as she looked up at me, Suzie doing the same.


“Me,” I said with a smile, “I’m here to give your mommies a chance to have a rest, but to do that, they want you both to play a very special game for a little while.  I call it the wriggly Silver worm game.  Would you like to know how to play it?”


“Okay,” Suzie said as she looked at me, “how do you play it?”


“Well,” I said with a smile, “the idea is you are going to be the worms, and your mommies will be able to watch you.  The thing is, to make the game really exciting, I need to make sure all four of you cannot move your arms and legs for a while.”


“Why,” Neela asked as she looked at me, now with a denim band in her hair.


“Because for you to be the wriggly worms, you need to be like worms – and for your mummies to have their rest, they need to stay where they are as well.  So, want to know how I do it?”


“Okay,” Suzie said as I took from my pocket a large roll of silver duct tape, and tore the end free.


“Well, first, I need you both to stand in front of me, with your hands by your sides.  I promise you, it doesn’t hurt….”




“Now, you stay there, and I’ll get your mummies to come in and watch you,” I said as I closed the door, smiling and shaking my head before I went into the kitchen.  As I did so, Katy looked at me and said “oh my god…”


“Hello,” I said with a smile as I closed the door, “please, remain calm.  I should tell you that I have just spent some time with your daughters, and they are waiting in the front room for you both to join them.”


“What…  What have you done to them,” Serena said as she looked at me.


“Nothing – save to make them like wriggly worms, and they want you to come and watch as they play that game,” I said with a smile, “and at the same time, I will be searching for your valuables.  Please, just do as I ask, and nobody needs to get upset.”


“You…  You’re the Games Player?”


“That’s right,” I said with a smile, “so please do as I ask.  I have a couple of chairs from your dining table ready for you to sit on – so, after you please?”


The two women stood up, looking at each other as they slowly walked into the front room.




Suzie and Neela were lying on their backs on the floor, with bands of silver tape holding their wrists to their waists, their arms to their sides with two bands, and their legs together at the ankles, calves and thighs.  A strip of brown sticking plaster was over their mouths, but I could see their smiles underneath.


“See?  Your mummies can see you’re ready to play now,” I said with a smile, “but first, I need to make sure they sat in their seats and have a rest, so stay where you are for the moment.  Ladies, please take a seat, and put your arms to the sides of the chair back.


“Are you both all right?” Serena said as she slowly sat down.


“Wrffnnmmmeee,” Neela said as I took her mother’s left wrist, held it against the chair back, and taped it into place, doing the same to her arm at the elbow, and then repeating the process on the other side.  I also made sure Katy’s arms were secured to the chair back, before I walked round and knelt down.  Both women watched as I taped their ankles together, and then their legs below their knees, while the girls looked at each other and giggled.


“time for them to be quiet now, right girls?”


“Ysmmmeee,” Neela said as I tore a strip of brown sticking plaster from the roll, and put it firmly over Serena’s mouth, doing the same to Katy as they nodded.


“now then girls,” I said with a smile, “just as I told you.”


The two girls then rolled onto their stomachs, and started to move across the floor like worms, their mothers offering what encouragement they could as I slipped out, and went upstairs…


When I looked in, the two girls were still happily playing, as I said “have fun” and slipped out.  Once I was a sufficient distance away, I called the police.


One last thing – I went to my next appointment, and as I came out I saw both of them leaving with their new babies in their arms…




Good evening everyone – how is the community tonight?


Hey Vi – meet our newest member, Rikki.  She was just about to tell us her story.  Rikki, Vi is another of the founders of this community.


Hello Vi – nice to meet you.


Welcome Rikki – so what can you tell us about yourself?


Well, I’m eleven years old, and I live near the seaside with my mummy and daddy.  Mummy makes jewellery and is a tutor for some kids, and Daddy works at a publishing company.  There’s only the three of us, but we love each other.  I have long brown hair, like Mummy, and like Mummy I wear glasses.


Vi, Rikki lives near where the Games Player surprised the girl and her mum in the beach house.  So, was it the man or the woman you met?


It was the man – it happened about three weeks ago.  Daddy was away at an exhibition in London, so we both knew he would be late back.  Mummy suggested we have a girls’ night in – with chocolates, drinks and a movie to watch.  It was a school night, but I didn’t mind, so we had our tea, and then we went to get changed.

I had kept my school uniform on, but I stripped out of that, and pit on a pair of white pyjama bottoms with a black animal print on them.  I also put on a long sleeved dusky pink top with a ruffed waistband. 


What was your mother wearing?


I came down to find she had put on a matching pair of pyjamas!  She had also made some hot chocolate, so we sat down next to each other on the corner of our couch, and watched a film where a gang of bumbling crooks tried to make a man rob his own bank, by keeping his family hostage – only they made it very difficult for them!


So you were enjoying the film?


Yeah – it was a funny film, and then Mummy went into the kitchen to get some more hot chocolate and biscuits.  And when she came back – she had someone with her.  I looked at him, smiling with a stocking pulled down over his face, as Mummy said this was a surprise she had quickly arranged!

He was wearing a black leather jacket over a jumper, black jeans and trainers, and he had black leather gloves on as well.  Mummy said he was a contact of hers, an actor, and she had called earlier while I was changing to see if he would play the part of a robber who held the family hostage!


Oh yeah – he does like to do things that way.  What happened next?


Well, I asked what he was going to do, and he said the first thing was to let us both finish our drinks.  Mummy sat next to me and said he was going to use some ropes to make sure, like the family in the film, we could not move, but that he had promised it would not hurt – and we would see if we could get free as easily as the family did.

So I took my mug from her, and watched as he took off a rucksack, and opened it before he took out some lengths of white rope.  I asked him what they were for, and he said he was going to use them so that our legs were held together, and we would stay on the couch.

Mummy kissed me on the head as I watched him cross her ankles, and then wrap the rope round them, making sure they were fixed together and taking the rope between her legs, which seemed to make it even more secure.  He then took another length of rope, and tied her legs together below her knees.  I saw he tied the ends of the rope out of reach of her hands, under her legs, and I asked her if it hurt.  She shook her head and said it didn’t – and now it was my turn.


I wonder – were you scared or excited by this point?


A little bit of both, but I watched as he doubled the cord, crossed my ankles, and then wrapped the rope around them, putting the neds through the middle loop and then pulling back.  It certainly held them together, and I watched as he wrapped it round a few more times, keeping the loops on top of each other.  He then ticked the ropes under one loop, separated the ends and pulled them between my legs – and it suddenly felt very tight, but not uncomfortable as he tied the ends off.

He then did the same thing to my legs, and as I felt him bind them together Mummy whispered into my ear that she was having fun.  I nodded and smiled in agreement, before he stood up and said we could watch another film if we wanted.

Mummy let me pick, so I asked if we could watch some Adventure Time on the television – we have one of those streaming services which means we can watch a whole series.  So Mummy told him how to do it, and he started things off as we finished our drinks and had some biscuits.


So when did he really make sure you and your Mummy were staying there.


Well, we both finished our drinks, and he took our mugs from us before he told us he had to make sure we had our arms and wrists secured for a while.  I asked to go first this time, so he got me to shuffle forward, and then he took my arms behind my back, before I felt him secure them together.  He had crossed my wrists, so I presumed he had done the same as he had done to my ankles.

He then took out a long length of rope, and wrapped it round my arms and my body, pulling them into my sides as he wound the rope round again and again.  I looked at Mummy, who was nodding and said it was all part of the game, as he tied the rope off behind me.  When he was finished, I wriggled round, but the ropes stayed in place.

I watched as he did the same to Mummy, seeing the way the ropes sat on her, and smiling as she too had her arms secured.  He then told us both to sit back, as he looked in his rucksack for something.


Let me guess – tape?


Close – he took out a roll of brown sticking plaster.


Oh I love that stuff – it keeps your mouth closed so well…


Oh yeah, it does – he tore off a strip from the wide roll, and told me to put my lips together before he pressed it firmly over my mouth.  It kept them closed – all I could do was mumble, which made Mummy laugh, so I thought it was the only thing I could do. 

He then tore off another strip, and pressed it over Mummy’s mouth.  He was very gentle in the way he did it, but when he had finished I could see the shape of Mummy’s lips under the fabric, and as she tried to talk the fabric moved with her.

The man said he had to go and do something, so he left us on the couch, while I rested my head on Mummy’s arms as we watched the television.  She rubbed her cheek on my head as I did so, which made me smile – because I felt really safe and secure there.


So could you get free as easily as the family?


Rikki Rescued:
Oh no – and I didn’t mind that, because I was with Mummy and Mummy with me…


So what happened next?


I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I remember is hearing Mummy saying “Hfnkggd” and seeing Daddy looking at both of us.  He gently took the tape away from our mouths – and that was when I found out it had been a real robbery!

He untied us and called the police, and a nice policewoman talked to me and Mummy, before we sat round and talked about what had happened.  I have to say – even if it was a real robbery, I really enjoyed been a hostage – and I want to be one again.


So do we all, Rikki – so do we all…




I know I’ve had cause before to talk about like mother, like daughter dressing – but when I spent some time recently travelling for business in the US, I did make a few visits, and the first of those…


I arrived in Philly on the Saturday afternoon, and checked into the Hilton in the city centre, to be greeted by a charming receptionist called Pen.  Just Pen – she was a Japanese woman, and spoke excellent English, but what I really noticed was the diamond and gold rings she was wearing.


A little detective work on my part told me she was a single mother, with a ten year old daughter – it’s amazing what personnel records can tell you when you get in – and that she was not working the next day.  Well, neither was I…


Sunday morning, about ten, and I was parked outside the apartment complex Pen and her daughter lived in, looking for an opportunity to get in.  That came when a charming old lady was trying to come out with her dogs, and had problems getting one of them out – so I jumped out, walked over and held the door open for her, and then let myself in.


I knew the apartment was on the third floor – but I was not wearing my usual stocking mask.  Instead, I had on a woollen hat, so when I was at the door of her apartment, I put on my leather gloves, and then reached up, pulling the brim down until the balaclava covered my head, leaving only my mouth and eyes visible.  And then I knocked on the door.


It was opened by her daughter – thick dark brown hair cut in a fringe, with a white floral headband on, and wearing a short sleeved faded denim blouse.  Her skirt had a brown cloth waist, tightened with a brown drawstring which was knotted in the front, the ends hanging down.  The skirt itself had two layers, white lace over pale blue, and the outfit was completed by white ankle socks and white Mary Jane shoes.


She stared at me as I put my finger to my lips, and came in, closing the door behind me as I heard Pen sat “who was at the door Zana?”  I watched as she came out – identically dressed to her daughter.


Well, not quite – she had a white lace collar as a necklace, wedge heeled white ankle boots, and a brown straw hat on, but essentially the same.  She looked at me, as Is aid “good morning Pen – I see you and Zana are ready to be the rich hostages?2


“Rich hostages?”


“the game you asked me to play the part of the robber in – did you forget?”


“this is a game Mom,” her daughter said as I put my hands on Zana’s shoulders.  Her mother slowly nodded as she said “yes it is – I totally forgot.  I’m afraid we’ll need to go to the park later – I think we’re going to be staying and watching television for a little while.”


“Indeed – but I promise, it won’t hurt,” I said with a smile.  “So, shall we go into your front room?”


“Are we going to be exactly the same Mom?”


Pen looked at me, and I nodded as I said “I think I can make sure you both stay in a pair of dining chairs.  Why don’t you stay with me, while your mom puts two in front of the television?”


“Of course,” Pen said as we walked in, and she placed her hat on the dining table, taking two chairs and setting them up in front of the television.  I then invited her to take a seat, and then allowed Zana to sit in the chair next to her, while I looked at the chairs themselves.


“Okay – I need to make sure you and your mom can’t move from the chairs,” I said to Zana as I took off the rucksack on my back, and took out some ropes, “so, we start by asking you both to lean forward, and let me take your arms between the slats at the back of the chair.”


“We’ll do it together, Zana,” Pen said as they leaned forward, and both put their slim arms between the slats of the chair back.  I then bound their wrists together with rope, and secured the ropes to the centre spars of the chair back, before I took a longer length of rope and wrapped it around Pen’s upper body, arms and the chair back, making sure it was secured tightly into place.


“Will you do that to me as well,” Zana said, so I did that – both mother and daughter identically tied to the chair back.  She looked at Pen, and smiled as she said “it’s actually nice mom!”


“I suppose it is,” Pen said as I knelt in front of her, crossed her ankles and tied them tightly together with more rope, and then secured her legs below her knees.  As I moved over, Zana smiled and crossed her own ankles for me, watching as I looped the rope around and between her legs, and then tied her legs together below her knees as well.  She swung them to and fro as I stood up, and turned the television on.


“Now, I have your word you won’t try and get free,” I said, both of them nodding as I quickly went and searched the bedrooms, finding some nice jewellery to take.  When I came back, they were watching Adventure Time, which allowed me to roll up two light blue bandanas and tie knots in the middle of the bands, then use them both as cleave gags.


I made sure the police got an anonymous tipoff once I had made myself scarce, and when I let the hotel the next day Pen was there, no worse for wear…




I was taking a shopping trip to the King of Prussia mall a couple of days later, when another opportunity presented itself – and for once, it wasn’t just a daughter that was involved.

I hasten to add, this was one of those times it was spontaneous, but as you also know I have a bag prepared for all occasions.  As I passed Maceys, I saw the family walk out – the father in a handmade suit, with an open necked shirt.  I recognised him as a football player, and he kissed his wife goodbye before he got into one car and drove off.


His wife was in her late thirties, and had long red-brown hair that fell over her shoulders.  She was wearing a fawn V-necked sweater, faded designer jeans and over the knee burgundy suede boots with a wedge heel.


She had two children with her- a boy and a girl.  The boy looked as if he was about twelve, and wore a green sleeveless padded jerkin over a checked shirt, jeans and Timberland boots.  He had short hair the same colour as his mother, while his sister was probably two years younger with short blonde hair.  She was wearing a white angora style sweater with a print of a black cat on the front, a denim skirt, pale blue leggings and knee length black leather boots.


I watched as they got into a station wagon parked a couple of bays down from mine, the mother putting a selection of bags from the high-end fashion houses in the back, and then she got into the driver’s seat.  I was intrigued, so I got into my own car and followed them as they went onto the Interstate, and drove north.


I followed for about an hour, until they entered a small town and then pulled into the driveway of a large single storey house.  I drove down the road a little bit, watching as the kids ran into the house, and the mother started to unload the bags.


The street was quiet, so I checked my bag, jumped out and walked back along, pulling on my gloves as I did so.  I was wearing a black leather jacket over a jumper and jeans, as well as sneakers, but for once I didn’t have a stocking mask – so I put on my Raybans and walked up behind her as she was taking the last of the bags from the car.


“Hello,” I said quietly as I stood behind her, and pushed the barrel of the starting pistol I had against her back.  “do not shout, do not raise the alarm.  Just do as I say, and you and your children will have an adventure this afternoon.  Nod if you understand?”


As she slowly did so, I said “what’s your name?”




“Well Elona,” I said quietly, “here’s what is going to happen.  You are going to come into your house with me, and you are going to tell your children that you have arranged for me to play the part of the bad guy in a game you have arranged.  Do they watch films or programs where criminals take hostages?”


“They have done,” Elona whispered.


“Good – tell them that is the game they are going to play, and play it as if it was the real thing.  Your job is to keep them convinced it’s a game, and then when I rob you, you’re all relaxed.”


“Oh god,” she whispered.


“Relax Elona – what are their names?”


“Ricky and Mae…”


“Well, close the trunk of your car, and let’s get started.  When does your husband return home?”


“At about eight…”


“It’s three o’clock now – not too late, but we need to get started.  Come along now.”


Elona nodded as she closed and locked the car door, and then we walked in, me closing the door behind myself as we walked into the front room.


“Hey Mom,” the boy said as he looked over, “who’s this?”


“Ricky, Mae,” Elona said quietly, “we’re all going to play a special game, where this man is going to pretend he is taking us all hostage.”


“Like on the television Mom,” Mae said as she looked over.


“that’s right,” I said with a smile, “now, we’re going to play it properly, so when I’m finished you won’t be able to move or talk, but it is all a game, and nothing really bad is going to happen, understand?”


The two kids looked at Elona, who nodded and said “we’ll all play the game together, all right?”


“So how do we play,” Ricky said.


“Well, I want you to go and close the blinds,” I said as I looked at him, “and while you do that, your mom and sister can sit on the couch for me, nice and quiet.” 


“come and sit with me Mae,” Elona said as she walked to the couch, Mae sitting with her while Ricky went and closed the blinds on the windows.  “Now,” I said as I slipped my rucksack off, “as the bad guy, I have to stop you all from letting people know I’m here – so I need to use some ropes to make sure you all stay where you are, just like in the films.  So, let’s start with you Ricky – put your hands behind your back please.”


“Will it hurt,” he asked as I pulled a length of thin rope from my bag.


“No – just let me do what I need to do,” I said as I crossed his wrists, doubled over the rope, and then secured his wrists tightly together.  I made sure the rope went around and between his wrists, and tied the ends off out of reach of his fingers.


“There now,” I said quietly, “does it hurt?”


“No – so who’s next?”


“I don’t want my wrists behind my back – I want them in front,” Mae said.


“We need to do what the man says,” Elona said as she looked at me.


“No, it’s all right – Ricky, sit on the other side of your mother, and I want you to put your hands together in prayer Mae.”  As the young girl did that, I tied her wrists tightly together in front of her as her mother and brother watched.


“See – I have my hands tied together as well,” she said as she stuck her tongue out.

“So you do – but now I need to tie your ankles and those of your brother as well.”  Taking two more lengths of cord, I knelt down and tied their ankles together, crossing the legs of both of them as I did so.  I also tied their legs together below their knees, Elona watching the whole time.


“Now,” I said as I looked at them, “I also need to make sure you cannot move your arms, and then you cannot move while I get your mother to show me round.  So the first thing I’ll do is tie your arms to your sides – and then I’ll need to make sure you both stay apart while you watch the television.  You first, Mae.”


Taking a long length of rope from my rucksack, I doubled it over, and then tied the young girl’s arms to her sides, around her stomach and then her upper arms, before I used tow shorter lengths to tighten them between her arms ad body.  I then bent her legs up, and tied her wrists to the rope below her knees.


“What are you going to do to mw,” Ricky said as he looked over.


“I think I need to make sure big brother can’t try and free his little sister,” I said as I lifted Mae onto a seat by the couch, and then used a second longer length of rope to tie his arms to his sides.  I then helped him to lie down, and tied his ankles to the chest ropes, before he rolled onto his side, both of them watching as I crossed and bound their mother’s wrists together behind her back.


“Now, while we’re walking round,” I said with a smile as they both wriggled, “I need to keep you both quiet.”  They watched as I bound Elona’s arms to her sides as well, using two smaller lengths to tighten the bands round her chest, and then took from my rucksack a roll of brown sticking plaster.


“you look funny,” Ricky said as I tore a long strip off, and then put it over Mae’s mouth, making sure it was smoothly stuck in place.


“Swwlunemnnet,” she mumbled back, as I gagged her brother in the same way, and then turned the television on, both of them watching as I guided Elona out of the room.


“Now then,” I whispered quietly, “your valuables…”





“Rubbfflrht,” Elona mumbled as I escorted her back in – a folded cloth in her mouth and her lips covered in sticking plaster as well.


Ricky and Mae both nodded as I helped her to sit in the other armchair, and then crossed and bound her ankles together as well.  Mae giggled as she tried to move her legs, the leather squeaking as she did so, and Elona nodded as I secured her legs below her knees as well.  I then tucked them under her body, and secured her ankles to her wrists with a final length of rope.


Glancing at the clock, I saw it was seven in the evening, so I said “Now, you all sit quietly and keep watching the television, until a big surprise comes.”  All three nodded as I left the room, my bag full with valuables as I quietly slipped out of the house, and walked back to my car…




When I visit the States and other countries now, I do do some research for possible targets in the areas I am going to visit.  That research can take many forms – including looking on YouTube and media sharing sites.  What is very popular on them is Ninja Challenge/Duct Tape Challenge/Escape Challenge videos, often by the younger generation. 


And I had been particularly taken by a series posted by two young girls based in Philly, called Soo and Lou.  Soo was thirteen, Lou eleven, and they liked to do loose escape and tape challenges on each other.


I did a little digging – they lived in a fairly affluent area, with a father who was a banker and a housewife mother – but I also discovered they were an Islamic family.  So I had an idea, and a way to make it fun for them as well as profitable for me…


It was a Sunday afternoon as I watched from my rental car, as Soo and Lou got out of their mother’s car.  Both girls had long black hair, Soo wearing a peach padded jacket over a pink jumper, grey leggings and trainers, Lou a tan coat over a grey jumper, pink jeans and trainers.  Their mother was wearing a black leather jacket over a striped jumper, the edges of a white blouse showing underneath and covering the tops of her jeans, and straight black knee length biker boots zipped up the outside.


I waited as they went inside, and then checked the contents of my bag.  I was wearing a grey sweatshirt, jeans and trainers, nothing flashy, but I was smiling as I got out, took the bag in my hand, and then walked to the front door, knocking smartly.


Their mother answered the door, the grey scarf still wrapped round her head and neck as a hijab – but as I smiled through the stocking I had quickly pulled down, I came in and put my gloved hand over her mouth as she stood against the wall.


“Not a word,” I said as I closed the door, “your daughters?”  I watched as she glanced to a door behind me and on the right, and smiled as I said “good – here’s what is going to happen.  I am going to rob you, and to do that I need to keep you and your daughters quiet and out of the way.  But I don’t want them, or you, to be scared or get upset.  You don’t want that either, do you?”


As she shook her head, I said “good – you know of what they have been placing on YouTube?”  She nodded, as I said “good – here’s what we are going to do.  I’ll take my hand away, and you turn around…”





Soo and Lou looked up as I escorted their mother in, her wrists crossed and secured behind her back, as she said “this gentleman has come to visit us – don’t be afraid of the mask, he says he’s from one of those YouTube channels you watch.”


“That’s right,” I said with a smile, “we’ve seen your escape challenges, and my colleagues and I want to film you doing part of a series we’re putting together - the ultimate escape challenge!”


“Wow,” Soo said, “how does that work?”


“If you are willing, I’ll put all three of you in the same position - and while the camera runs, you can all try and escape.  Everything will be recorded and put on the channel – if you all agree.”


“You’ll take part as well Mom,” Lou said as she looked up.


“Yes I will – now, I need you both to go to the toilet.  From what the man said he was going to do, it may be a while before we do.”


As they ran off, I put my bag down, and took out a longer length of rope.  “It will save time,” I said as I doubled it over, and wrapped it round her arms and body, pulling it tight under her chest, “if you tell me where your money and valuables are now.”


“If you promise we will not be hurt?”


“I promise,” I replied, and as I wound the rope above and below her chest she told me where to look.  I just had time to tie the ropes off before the girls came back in.


“So,” I said, “you see what I have done to your mom?”  As hey nodded, I took two more lengths of rope from the bag, and said “your turn now.  Your Mom is going to sit on the couch, and I want you to kneel on the floor wither side of her, then put your hands behind your backs.”


They nodded as I helped their mother to sit down, and then secured their wrists behind their backs, all three of them talking as I did so.  I then made them kneel with their backs straight, as I tied their arms to their sides in the same way as their mother, with two bands around their upper bodies. 


Taking some shorter ropes, I then tightened those bands on both sides for the girls, and allowed them to sit on the floor as they wriggled round.


“It’s really tight and nice,” Soo said, their mother nodding as I crossed her ankles, and secured them tightly together as well.  “And your boots sound funny like that.”


“They do,” Lou giggled as I took the rope around and between her legs, tied the ends off, and then secured her legs together below her knees as well.  As she wriggled round now, the squeak made all three of them laugh.


“Your turn now girls,” I said as I secured the ankles and legs of both Lou and Soo in the same way, and then set up a camera to look at all three of them.  “Now, before I finish the preparations for your challenge, why don’t you do a short introduction to the camera.


I watched as Soo said “Hi, this is Soo, I’m here with Lou, and our mother is joining us today to do the Ultimate Escape Challenge.  How does it feel Lou?”


“Nice and tight Lou – how about you Mom?”


And as they talked, I went in search of valuables…


When I returned a few minutes later, I said “now, for the full challenge, I need you all to be on the floor, on your stomachs, facing the camera.  Before that, though, you need to be quiet, so I want both of you to open wide.”


The girls looked at each other, then opened their mouths as I pushed a folded cloth into their mouths, before covering their lips with white tape.  They looked at each other and mumbled as I walked behind their mother, and pushed a sponge ball into her mouth, then pressed the tape firmly over her closed lips.


Moving the girls apart, I helped their mother to lie on the floor between them, and then pulled her ankles back before I tied them to her chest ropes.  I then helped them it lie face down on either side of their mother, before hogtying them as well.


“Now, look at the camera,” I said as they looked up, mmfign to each other before I said “Now – try and escape!”




That was a week ago – and I saw the film on YouTube.  They were very good – took them an hour to get free, but very good…







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