Mother And Daughter Moments 3









I’m not sure if I have a favourite time of year for when I visit the families I pick, but I do like to try and time it to give me time to get away.  That does occasionally backfire on me of course, and I had to learn to be ready for those eventualities.  One in particular comes to mind, where I came damn close to getting found out by the kid and the police, but I’ll tell that tale another time.


The one I want to talk about now happened one Halloween a few years ago.  The nights were drawing in, of course, but what that also means for me is I have a different way of selecting my targets.  I can watch a costume store and see who goes in to collect items, and pick from the way they look.


This particular time I saw her walking out with her eleven year  old daughter.  Mummy had on a black leather biker jacket, but under that her garment had a red skirt that came to about two inches above her knee, and the most expensive looking black leather boots.  They came to her knees, and were tightly laced up the front, but it was the cut of the boot, the thin flat heel, that spoke of a designer doing them.  Her brown hair fell over her shoulder sin soft curves.


Her daughter was also well dressed, in a pink hooded gillet over a white jumper, pink leggings and pink felt boots.  She was the image of her mother, and I knew then I had found a possible new mum and kid to play with.  So I paid my money and left the cafe, following them as they walked down Kensington High Street and into the long terraces of houses behind.


I had my rucksack with me, so when I saw them go into one of the houses I allowed a few minutes, watching as the lights went on in the downstairs and also one room upstairs.  It was getting darker, so I walked up to the front door, rang the bell and slipped the stocking over my head.


It always amazes me, even now, how trusting some of the mums are, as the door opened wide and I saw her standing there.  She had removed the jacket, and I could see her skirt was actually a sleeveless dress, with a cut at the front that ran in little arcs down to her knees.


“What the...” was all she got to say before I pushed my way in, closing the door behind me as I hand gagged her and showed her my starting pistol.  “Not a word,” I said quietly, “just nod or shake your head.  Is anyone else here part from you and your daughter?”


She mumbled something and then shook her head from side to side under my hand.


“Good, now listen carefully. You’re going to do as I say, because you don’t want to scare your daughter, do you?”


She shook her head again, so I said “I’m going to take my hand away, and then we’ll go into the front room and talk.”  This time she nodded, as I took her arm and walked her in, closing the door behind me.


“I’ve heard about you,” she said as she looked at me, “you’re that guy who says he’s playing a game.”


“That’s right,” I said quietly, “so I’m going to ask you to call your daughter down, and...”


“Mummy, Mummy, look at me!”


Before I could do anything, the door opened and her daughter came in, her ash blonde hair falling over the shoulders of what I presumed was a Halloween costume.  It was a dress that would not have looked out of place in the late sixties or early seventies, with a round neck that came to her knees.  The collar, cuffs and hem of the skirt were purple silk, while the main body was a blue cloth with a black lace like pattern.  The sleeves, and the skirt on one side under her purple belt, were a print pattern like you used to get on curtains.  Her costume was completed by a pair of white socks and Mary Jane shoes, a purple headband and a pair of white gloves.


She looked at her mum and me, then said “Mummy, who is this man?”


“Kylie,” she said quietly, “He’s come to...”


“Sara, Kylie, are you in the front room?”


“Don’t say a word,” I whispered into Sara’s ear as the door opened and another mother and daughter came in.  The older woman looked enough like Sara for me to realise she was her sister, and she too was dressed in a style from the seventies - a white lace blouse under a black jacket, a matching skirt that came to above her knees, and had buttons up one side, and tight over the knee black leather boots.  She had a large hat perched on her long blonde hair, and was wearing a pair of sunglasses.


Her daughter was also dressed in the style of the seventies.  Her pink wig had a white headband, and she wore a pair of white framed dark glasses.  She had a metallic vest top on, that, looked as if it was made with hundreds of little mirrors, a short light blue skirt with a white belt, and knee length white go-go boots.  She also had a number of bangles on her arms.


The new arrivals looked at me, Sara and Kylie, before Sara said “Joan, this man is here to play a game - and it looks as if all four of us are going to play.  Please, do as he says.”


Joan took her glasses off, looked at my stocking covered face, and then said quietly “He won’t hurt us, will he?”


“So long as we do as he says, I think you and Danni will be just fun,” Sara said quietly, before she looked at me.


“That’s right,” I said with a smile, “now, we’re going to play a game of kidnap.  It seems that the two little pop princesses are going to have to come with the bad guy, while their mothers are left with a ransom note.  Would you like to play that?”


Kylie looked at what I presumed was her cousin, and then said “Let’s play the game before we go trick or treating, all right?”


“Sounds fun,” Danni said as the two mothers looked at each other, “so what are you going to do?”


“Well,” I said with a smile as I took my rucksack off, “We’ll play the game in three parts.  Your mummies are going to sit in the chairs, with their hands on their heads, while I make sure you can’t use your hands or talk for a little while.  Then I’ll stop them from raising the alarm, before I take you both to my hideout - which will be Kylie’s room - and leave a note.  Once we’re there, I’ll make sure you can’t get away for a while, and then I’ll make sure you all get rescued.  Does that sound good?”


“Sounds exciting,” Danni said as she looked at me, “but you won’t hurt us?”


“Not at all, except to make sure you are really hostages,” I said, again smiling.  “Sara, June - sit down in the chairs, put your hands on your heads, and don't move.  You two girls can come and stand in front of me, with your hands behind your back.”


“Please, don’t hurt them,” Sara said, but the two older women did as I asked, which allowed me to use some soft rope to tie the wrists of the two girls behind their back.  I crossed their arms, made sure it was snug and tight, then used some longer lengths of rope to tie their arms to their tummies, making sure I wound it round them so that they were locked in place with the rope just below their elbows.


“We not going, to be able to free each other now,” Danni said as I tied off the rope.  “that’s the idea - this big bad kidnapper does not want you to get free,” I said as I helped them to sit next to each other on the couch.  “Now, I’m going to put a cloth in your mouths, and I want you to keep it in there while I take care of your mothers, all right?”


“We’ll be good, mister kidnapper,” Kylie said, before I pushed a folded up handkerchief into their mouths, then turned to Sara and June.


“All right, ladies,” I said in a sterner voice, “I want you both to kneel on the floor, in front of your pop princess daughters, and put your hands behind your back.  Just keep looking at them and talking to them.”


They looked at me, then knelt in front of the girls, talking to them about what they would do that night and how much fun this was, while I crossed their wrists and tightly bound them, before binding their arms to their sides with rope above and below their chests, making sure it was well tightened before I had finished.


“Wlludhtttss,” Kylie mumbled as I tied the rope off behind her mother’s back.


“No,” I said quietly, “but I will make sure you both cannot move when I take you to my lair, all right?  Now then,” I said as I looked at the two ladies, “I’m going to lay you both on your stomachs, and bind your legs.  Just relax and you’ll be more comfortable.”


“Easy for you to say,” June replied in a sarcastic tone, but she allowed me to help her it lied down, resting her head on a pillow as I crossed and bound her ankles together, then her legs below her knees, the rope squeaking on the leather.  Sara got the same treatment, before I took two scarves out of my bag and knelt by both of them.


“Now then - I’m going to take your little darlings with me.  I’ll leave a ransom not with you, for when you get free - don’t call the police, or they will be hurt.  Understand?”


Sara nodded, and looking at her daughter she said “You both go with this man now - We’ll see you soon.”  Kylie nodded and smiled over her cloth as I pushed a folded scarf into the mouths of both mothers, then covered their lower faces with silver duct tape.


“All right you two,” I said as I helped Kylie and Danni to stand up, “Come with me.”  I took them out of the room, saying “Don’t move for one hour” to their mothers before we went up the staircase into Kylie’s room.


“All right Girls,” I said as I closed the door, “Sit on the bed, side by side, and I’ll finish making you hostages for the game.” 


“Fnku,” they both very politely said as they jumped on the bed, sitting side by side as I tied their ankles together, then their legs below their knees with rope.  Going back to my bag, I took out two fruit juice drinks, put straws in them and then took the sloths out of their mouths.


“Here,” I said as I held the drinks to their mouths, “I need to make sure you really can’t make a noise after this, but you deserve a drink for the way you’ve played so far.”


“Thank you,” Kylie said before she took a drink, then Danni said “This is a fun game - you’re really good at it.”


“Thank you for saying so,” I replied with a smile and waited until they had finished.  “Now, open your mouths, and I’ll put the cloths back in, then put some tape over your mouths as well.  Then I need to go for a little while, but I’ll make sure you know when the game is over, all right?”


They both nodded as I put the cloths back in, then smoothed some strips of tape over their mouths.  As a last touch, I tied their legs together as well, then waved to them as I left the room.  I heard Danni’s boots squeaking, then raided the other rooms before going down.


“They’re in your daughter’s room, and they’re fine,” I said as I knelt next to Sara, and pulled her ankles back, before tying them to the ropes at June’s back.  I did the same for her sister, tying her ankles to Sara’s back, before saying “Happy Halloween” and leaving them.


I called the police fifteen minutes later, so that they did not have to wait too long.  That other time I mentioned, however, the police were too close to make a call - or for me to get away...




It had started out as a perfect little visit as well, with no indication of what was likely to happen.  I had found out as much as I could about the target - the head of the household worked for a large pharmaceutical company in a senior management position, and I had seen him leave in a chauffeured car for the airport for a business trip.  Leaving his darling wife and ten year old daughter behind in their house.


They took security seriously, with a gated entry through a high wall, but I had prepared for that, borrowing a postman’s outfit and using his delivery sack instead of my usual rucksack.  How I had managed to get the outfit - that’s a story for another day.  At any rate, this was a November Saturday, around about midday, when I knew they tended to deliver the post in the area.


Anyway, I pressed the intercom button at the gate, and I was more than pleased to hear the girl say “Yes?”


“Postman,” I said quietly, “I have a letter from your mum and dad, and they have to sign for it.  Can you let me in please?”


“All right,” the girl said, and there was a buzz before the gate swung open.  I was in - and made my way to the door as I slipped the stocking over my head.


Who was it be going to be - Mummy or Daughter?  It was like a toss of the coin, but in this case the door was opened by the little girl.  She was wearing a blue dress with buttons up the front, and a red checked upper collar and cuffs on the sleeves, a pair of golden coloured trousers and brown suede boots that had three layers of tassels, as well as little metal discs around the top.  Her light brown hair was pulled up in a bun on her head, and held there by a floral clasp.


She looked at me, but before she could scream I had her in my arms, my hand over her mouth as I whispered into her ear “Don’t panic - your mum has asked me to come and play a game of robbers with her and you.”


“What does he have...”  Her mum came out and put her hands to her mouth as she saw me holding her daughter.  She had on a blue tunic with white and red flowers, grey leggings and similar boots to the girl, except hers were a tighter fit.  She also had a checked silk scarf folded into a band and tied over her flaming red hair.


“I was telling your daughter that you had asked me to come and play a game of robbers with both of you, after your husband had agreed,” I said very quietly and deliberately.  “So of course, you are going to do whatever I say, aren’t you?”


She looked at me, then her daughter, before she said “that’s right, Jackie - this nice man is going to pretend to be a robber and to rob us.  Please, take your hand away from her mouth.”


As I did so, Jackie said “So are we going to be tied up and gagged and needing to be rescued, like in the books?”


“That’s right,” I said, “I’m going to have to make sure you keep out of my way, and I’ll need to keep you hostage as part of the game.  Do you want to play that?”


“Yes please,” Jackie said as her mum slowly nodded.  “Look,” she said as she looked at me, “We’re going to have some lunch.  Join us - then it becomes more of a game.”


“OF course,” I said quietly, “but first, give me your mobile phone.”  She picked up a bag and did so, watching as I pocketed her phone then pulled the main one away from the wall.  Lifting the stocking up to show my mouth, I said “Let’s eat first Jackie, then I can start the game.”


Looking back, that was probably the mistake, but we had some soup, Jackie telling her mum about some things that had happened at School, her mum watching me all the time.


Eventually, I said “Right - why don’t you bring your chair over here, Mummy, and I’ll tie you both to the chairs.”


She brought her chair round as Jackie carried hers into the centre of the dining room, and then they both sat down.  “You first Jackie,” I said as I took some rope out of my bag, “put your arms between the slats in the chair back, and look forward.”


I watched as she did so, then knelt behind her chair and tied her wrists together, before tying her waist to the chair back.  I then went behind Mummy, and put her arms behind the chair, crossing her wrists and tying them both together and to the chair back, before wrapping rope around her stomach and chest to hold her in place.


I then went in front of Jackie, and tied her ankles tightly together, as well as her legs below her knee.  For Mummy I tied her ankles to the front legs of the chair, as well as her legs below her knees.


“Now then,” I said as I took a roll of brown sticking plaster from my bag, “I need to make sure you can’t talk while I pretend to rob the place.  Just breathe in and out through your nose, all right?”


Jackie nodded as I tore a strip off and smoothed it over her mouth, then did the same to her mother.  “Now don’t go anywhere,” I said as I left them, and searched the upstairs room.


I know - I hadn’t been as strict with them as others, but they had played along, and I thought it would be quicker for me to get out.  So when I heard the screeching of breaks outside as I searched the mother’s bedroom, and looked out to see the overturned delivery lorry, I realised this was one game that may have to go on a little longer than I had planned.


This was going to be testing - because I had to make sure young Jackie still believed this was a game. So I went downstairs, and said “Guess what Jackie?  I’m going to stay and play with you and Mummy a little longer.  It seems I can’t get away because the police are outside, so I need to make sure you and Mummy don’t raise the alarm.”


I saw her nod as I said that, then I looked at Mummy.  “I’m going to go and close the curtains in the front room - then I will come and take Jackie through, then you.  All right?”


She nodded, so I went in, closed the curtains as the police sirens came closer, and then turned on the television to CBBC.  Going back in, I said to Jackie “I’m going to untie you from the chair, carry you through and re-tie you, then get Mummy, all right?”


“Ysssr,” she mumbled, so I untied her waist and arms, lifted her up and carried her in, then laid her on the couch before re-tying her wrists together in front of her, then down to the rope between her legs.


“Now, don’t move,” I said as I left her watching Scooby Doo, then went back into the kitchen.  Removing the tape, I said “What’s your name?”




“Well, Ella, there has been an accident outside, and unfortunately the police are all over the place, so I need to stay here a little longer than I had intended.  So we need to play along for Jackie’s sake, and pretend I need to keep you both hostages for a little while.  Will you do that?”


“For her sake, yes,” Ella said as she looked at me, “but for how long?”


“As long as it takes for them to clear the accident - look, I’ll take her gag off as well, and sit her with you, but you need to stay tied up, all right?”


She nodded as I released her from the chair, then re-tied her wrists behind her back and wrapped some rope around her arms and stomach.  Walking back into the room, I helped Jackie to sit up and let her mother sit down, before placing her head in Ella’s lap as I re-tied the older woman’s ankles and legs.


“IF you promise to keep quiet and not scream for help, I’ll take the tape off for a while,” I said as I stroked Jackie’s stray hair from her face.  She nodded, so I pulled the tape away, and sat in the chair opposite, watching the television with both of them with my gun sitting on my lap - just as a little reminder.


After a couple of hours, it was starting to get dark outside, but there were still some flashing lights indicating the presence still of the local constabulary.  “Well then Jackie and Mum,” I said as I stood up, “I think I may have to stay for tea as well. I’ll untie you both, let you go to the toilet, and then we’ll go into the kitchen while Mum sorts some food out.   Sound good to you?”


“Can we have Pizza Mum?”  Jackie looked at Ella, who nodded and then looked at me, watching as I untied her daughter, then her.  We went through to the kitchen, and as Jackie sat on a stool her mum put the oven on, then put two pizzas in to cook.


“Will you have to tie us up in bed as well,” Jackie said a little while later, as we each ate a slice.


I looked at the clock, and then said “If I do, I promise someone will come and free you after a little while.”


Ella mouthed “thank you” to me, then said “Our captor will have to be sure you’ve washed and done your teeth before he makes sure we can’t raise the alarm, all right Jackie?”


“All right, Mum,” she said as she finished her first slice, then took a second one.  Once we had all finished, I said “Right - let’s go upstairs and you can change into some night clothes, Jackie.”


“Yes, mister robber,” Jackie said as we went up the stairs, and we watched from the door of her room as she gathered a pair of pyjama bottoms and a vest top, then went into the bathroom.  As we heard water running, Ella turned to me and said “I guess I should thank you for making it a game - but I guess you have my jewellery?”


“I do - I’ll make sure you’re together, and secured, and then when I go I’ll call the police.”


She nodded as Jackie came out, wearing a white vest and purple bottoms.  “Let’s go into Mummy’s room,” I said, “and then I want you to lie on your tummy for me.”


“All right,” Jackie said as she ran in and did what I asked.  I took some soft rope from my bag, crossed her wrists behind her back and tied them together, then crossed and tied her ankles together before rolling her over.


“Now then - do you think you can behave until your mother gets ready?”


Jackie nodded, so I said to Ella “I’m staying with your daughter - no funny stuff, or she is the one who gets hurt.”  Jackie giggled thinking it was part of the game, but Ella nodded and picked up a pair of silk pyjamas, returning a few minutes later in them.


“Right then,” I said quietly as I took more rope, “I want you to lie face down and put your hands behind your back.”


 Jackie watched as I bound her mother’s hands and feet, then sat her up before I tied their arms to their sides.  I started with Ella, wrapping rope above and below her chest, but when I tied it off I was surprised to hear Jackie say “Do that to me too - I want to be the same as Mummy.”


I looked at Ella, who just nodded, so I tied Jackie’s arms to her body in the same way, then helped them to lie on their sides facing each other as I tied their legs below their knees, then their ankles to their chest ropes.  I fixed it so that Jackie had her legs bent at ninety degrees, but for Ella her heels touched her bottom.


“Now, I need to go soon,” I said as the flashing lights finally disappeared outside, “so I need you both to be kept quiet.  Open wide now.”


For Jackie, I pushed one of her father’s handkerchiefs into her mouth, then used one of his ties to keep it in place, before putting another wide strip of brown plaster over her lips.  As for her mother - she got a folded scarf, a bathrobe belt, and the plaster.


“Now then,” I said as I watched them look at each other, “I am going to leave you alone for a little while, and then you will be released for the end of the game.  All right?”


Jackie nodded and looked at her mother with shining eyes, as I left them both on the bed, and finally managed to escape into the now quiet street outside.  I must have looked funny as a postman, but it was dark enough to allow me to slip away...




As I think I said previously, there have been occasions when Mummy and daughter became mummy and daughters, but one time, in a small village in the outskirts of Nottingham, it became more a case of den mothers and charges - except these were not cubs.


The house was one where the general manager of a major store in Nottingham lived, and I knew he had two daughters.  One was twenty one, and worked at the store with Daddy, while the other was ten years old.  I’d seen them coming home earlier, in their big car.  The kid was wearing a grey pair of joggers and a zipper jacket, while Mummy had on a big brown coat.


So as I slipped into their back garden an hour or so later, with my rucksack on my back, I was almost looking forward to a nice, quick and quiet visit - especially after the extended time I had to spend with Jackie and her mother a few weeks before.  The thing is, I was getting cocky, and it was time for me to learn an important lesson - double, triple and quadruple check what is happening first at the home before you visit.

No, Daddy and big sister were not home - but they were not alone.  I went into the kitchen, to see a tray with eight glasses on it.  Before I had a chance to figure out what was going on, I heard the mum say “I’ll bring the drinks and biscuits in” and then she came into the kitchen, barely giving me time to hide behind the door.


She was a little smaller than me, and wearing a dark blue v-necked jumper over a light blue blouse, a knee length skirt made of linen the same colour as the jumper, dark tights and flat shoes.  She walked to the sink, but before she could get there I grabbed her, hand gagged her and said “Not a word, just nod or shake your head, understand?”


She nodded and said “Hrrru?”


“I just want to play a game with you and your daughter, and then I will leave you alone.  Are you the only ones in the house?”


“Nnnhrpckshr,” she mumbled under my hand, and she looked at the tray.


I followed her eyes, then heard another woman singing with young voices, and suddenly I put two and two together.


“Her Brownie pack is here, isn’t it?” I whispered, and she nodded, ,the fear evident in her eyes.  I had to admit, this was something I had not been expecting.  So I said “I’m going to remove my hand - do not scream.”  She nodded and as I did so I turned her around, seeing the uniform properly now.  She could also see the gun in my hand.


“How many?”


“Eight,” she said quietly, “and my co-leader.”


“And what are they doing here?”


“We’re learning how to tie some knots - craftwork.  Who are you?”


I had to smile to myself.  “Ropework, eh?  Well then, here’s what we are going to do...”


As I followed her into the room, I saw her daughter and the other seven Brownies, wearing their uniform of a yellow t-shirt with brown sleeves, a matching knee length skirt, and trainers.  There was also an older, grey haired woman, who looked at me then at mummy before saying “Fiona, who is...”


“My friend,” Fiona said, “has come to help us all to play game that uses the knots that we have been learning this morning.  We’re all going to see how tightly we can tie each other up - and the one who does the best job gets a special prize.


“Are you sure Mummy,” her daughter said as she looked at me.  I’d taken the stocking mask off, but pulled a beanie hat over my head.


“I’m sure, Lorna,” Fiona said quietly.  “But first, you get to practice your knots on Mrs Brown and me.  I want you to bring two chairs from the dining room and put them in the centre of the floor.  Be quick girls.”


“Come on Jo,” Lorna said as she and a brown haired girl followed her, brining as chair each in.  Fiona and Mrs Brown sat down, watching me as they did so.


“All right girls,” I said, “take one of the lengths of cord from the table, and tie your leader’s wrists to the back of the chair, using a reef knot to hold their arms in place.”


The girls split into pairs, and as I watched they placed the wrist of their leaders against the wooden backs of the chairs and tied them into place.  I have to say, for ten year old girls they did a very good job, but Fiona and Mrs Brown stayed very quiet - they knew what was really going on.


“Very good,” I said as I looked at their work, “now I want you to do the same to their ankles against the front legs of the chairs.”


“Can we do that, mummy,” Lorna said as she looked at Fiona.  Her mum smiled and said “Do what the guest says, dear,” so I watched again as their legs were  tied into place.  Mrs Brown had a face like thunder as she looked at me, but I just smiled and said “Remember, these are your charges and your responsibility.”


“He’s right,” Fiona said as she looked at her daughter, Jo and two of the others tying her ankles to the chair, “so let them do what he says - please.”


“Well, you’ve all done very well,” I said as I looked at the two women.  “Now, I want you to divide into pairs, take two of the lengths of rope each, then sit next to each other so that you can reach each other’s ankles.”


As they did this, I tied the legs of the two older women to the chair legs, and tightened the ankle ropes as well.  Looking at the pairs, I said “Right - tie each other’s ankles together, like this.”  I doubled a length of cord other, said “wrap this round the ankles, pull the ends through and back, then take them twice round.”


I watched as they did this, then said “Now, tuck the ends under the top loop, separate them, pass the ends between your legs and pull, then tie them with a nice reef knot in front of your legs.”


“Like tying two sticks together,” Lorna said as the eight girls practised on each toher, while I tied Fiona’s upper body to the chair with a length of rope from my bag.


“What are you doing to Mummy,” Lorna said as she looked at me.  “Making sure she and Mrs Brown can’t cheat by helping you, and they will help judge,” I said in reply.  “Now, shuffle along the floor so you can reach each other’s knees, and then I want you to tie each other’s legs together below your knees.”


“Oh, this is just like that film when the girls were kidnapped,” Jo said as she tied Lorna’s legs together, and watched her friend doing the same to her.


“Isn’t it just,” Fiona said as she looked at me, and whispered “Please don’t hurt them.”


“They’re tying each other up, Fiona - I won’t do anything else to them, but they will have to stay still for a little while until I tell them they can start to try to escape.  I keep my word, after all.”


“So you really are a robber,” Mrs Brown said out of the corner of her mouth.


“Alas yes - but don’t spoil the illusion.”  I looked at the eight girls, then said “All right - one of you needs to kneel, and the other then needs to tie their wrists together behind their back.”


“So we are going to be like real captives?”


“That’s right - it’s an escape challenge as well as a test of your knot tying.”


“Goodie,” they called out in chorus as first four, then six, then seven had their hands tied behind their back, and were sitting in a circle.  Only Lorna was left as I crossed and tied her wrists, then went round and checked the group’s work.


“Very good,” I finally said.   “Now, it’s time for a silent challenge.  All of you, stay silent and still while I sort a special surprise out, all right?”


The girls all nodded as I looked at their leaders, and quickly looked through the upstairs bedrooms.  I got all the jewellery easily enough - and found something in the bathroom for the pack to use.


“Now then,” I said when I came down, “to make it authentic, I’m going to put a little bit of tape over each of your mouths, to stop you from talking.  Then I will tell you to start, and the first person to get free has a special treat.  Understand?”


They all nodded and let me smooth a strip of the white medical tape over their mouths - although for Fiona and Mrs Brown, a pair of stockings went into their mouths before the tape went over their lips. 


“Now then,” I said as I looked at the ten from the doorway - “Start escaping.”


I didn’t stick around to find out what happened...



Sometimes, I don’t get so lucky, and the younger part of the family figure out what is going on before I leave.   The last time this happened to me was last Summer, when I was visiting a small town in the Yorkshire dales.  It was a fair day - perfect time for looking for families to visit.


Even though I do plan things out more, sometimes I just have to pay a visit on impulse, and as I walked through the tents and stalls I saw this young blonde haired woman walking with an eleven year old girl.  She had straight blonde hair, parted in the middle and falling down her head on either side, and was wearing a dark blue checked blouse with blue jeans and brown Ugg boots.


The girl beside her had fiery red hair, cut in a fringe, and was wearing the cutest dress.  It had a fawn body, with short sleeves and a skirt that was cream coloured with a pattern of different coloured stylised flowers, and a round neck.  She was also wearing a pair of brown desert boots, laced at the front, and I could see the ankle socks underneath.


They really seemed to be having fun, so I watched them from a safe distance.  As I did so - well, I have to admit the temptation was far too great, so I decided to relive my youth a little and follow them home, to see if anyone else was there.


Eventually, they did leave the fair, and walked for about a mile into a very nice residential area, walking up a garden path to the front door of a semi-detached house.  I watched as the older woman unlocked the front door, and let the young girl skip into the house first, before she closed the door behind her.


So there I was - no backpack this time, no mask, and wondering if I could get away with this.  I had on a hooded jacket, with a woollen scarf wrapped round my neck, so after looking to see if anyone was watching I moved the scarf to cover my mouth, then pulled the hood up over my head.


A knock on the front door, and the older woman opened it, saying “Yes, can I MMMPpppphhh.”


The final muffled sound was caused by my hand being clamped over her mouth, as I fished a pocket knife out and showed her it.  “Nice and quiet now,” I whispered into her ear, “You don’t want to scare your daughter, do you?”


“Shhsmcsn,” the blonde mumbled, and at that I realised something I had not done before - she was only about nineteen or twenty, too young to have a kid that age.


“I’ll take my hand away if you promise not to scream,” I whispered, and as Blondie nodded I took my hand from her mouth.  “Please,” she whispered, “take whatever you want, but don’t hate Kaycee.”


“Is that your cousin’s name,” I asked and she nodded before saying “Please...”


“Call her out here.”


She swallowed, then said “Kaycee, can you come out to the hall please?”


The redhead came out, looked at me and said “Is this a friend of yours, Dana?”


“That’s right, Kaycee,” I said quietly, “Dana asked me to come and help play a game of robbers with you.  Would you like that?”


“Okay,” she said as she put her hands behind her back and twisted round, “what does it involve?”


“Let’s go up to the bedroom and I’ll tell you,” I said, and we all walked up the stairs, my hand firmly on Dana’s arm as we did so.  “Whose room is this,” I said as I looked at a door on the left at the top of the stairs.


“That’s our guest room,” Kaycee said with a smile.


“Good, let’s go in there,” I said as I opened the door.  The room had pale walls, with a blue carpet that had white spots, and grey curtains.  It was also big, with two double beds.


“Perfect,” I said quietly.  “What I’m going to do, Kaycee, is make sure you and your cousin cannot leave the room, and then I’ll pretend to rob you.  Don’t worry - I’ll let you go later, all right?”


“How will you stop us getting out?”


The killer question, so I said “Why don’t you sit down, and take your shoes and socks off.  Dana, close the curtains, and then tell me if there is any rope in here.”


The older girl walked to the curtains and drew them, before she said “Kaycee, where does your daddy keep the rope of the trailer?”


“In the cupboard over there.”


Dana looked at me, then opened the door and took out a number of coils of brown rope, putting them on the bed while Kaycee put her shoes beside her, then tucked her white ankle socks into the top of them.


“All right, Kaycee - lie on your tummy and put your hands behind your back.  I’m going to ask Dana to tie them together so that you can’t move them apart, all right?”


“Is this part of the game?”


I nodded, watching as the girl lay face down and then put her hands behind her back.  “Take the rope, Dana, cross her wrists and tie them together - and make sure you do it properly.  You don’t want Kaycee to think you can’t do it, do you?”


“You can’t be...  She’s just a kid, why would...”


“Do you want me to do it instead?”


Dana looked at her cousin, then shook her head and tied the little girl’s wrists together.  “Very good,” I said as I handed her some more rope, “now tie her ankles together.”


“Just don’t hurt us,” she said as she put Kaycee’s ankles side by side, then tied them tightly with more rope, passing the length between her legs as well.  She put her hand on her cousin’s shoulder and said “Does it hurt?”


“No, I’ll cope - do you get tied up now as well?”


Dana looked at me, then said “Yeah, I do” before she too lay down on her stomach, and crossed her wrists behind her back.  I knelt next to her, tying her wrists tightly together, before I removed her boots and grey socks and tied her ankles together as well.


“Now, I need to make sure you can’t move or try to stop me,” I said as I pulled Dana’s ankles back, and tied them to her wrists, and then knelt next to Kaycee.


“You don’t have to do this, I’ll be good,” she said as she looked at me.  “Sorry, Kaycee,” was my reply as I brushed the hair away from her eyes, “but that is part of the game.”  With that, I pulled her ankles back, and tied them to her wrists as well.


She looked over her shoulder, then back at me as I stood up and walked over to the door.  “Hey - you can’t leave us like this.  This isn’t a game, is it?  You’re really a robber, and you’re going to take out nice things.”


“Calm down, Kaycee,” Dana said, but her cousin just opened her mouth and started to shout out “HELP!!!  HELLLLPPPPP!!!!!”  I had to walk back, kneel next to her and clamp my hand over her mouth, saying “You need to be quiet, Kaycee, or I will have to make sure you can’t be heard.”


She then started struggling, trying to loosen the ropes, so I looked round.  There was a white hand towel on the floor next to me, and her socks.  I had to steel myself, as I grabbed her socks, balled them up, and as I took my hand away stuffed them into her mouth and put my hand back over it.


“Now, calm down, Kaycee,” I said quietly, “Because if you start to cough or struggle, it will not be very nice.  Just lie still, and it will all be over soon.”


“Please, Kaycee,” Dana said, “Listen to the man.  I’ll be right here with you, so don’t be afraid.”


The young girl stopped struggling, looked at her cousin, then nodded and said “llrrt.”  I took my hand away, picked up the cloth and tied it between her lips, securing the ends together at the base of her head before I said “That’s a good girl - just lie still now.”


“What about me - are you going to keep me quiet too,” Dana said as Kaycee looked at her with her eyes wide open.  I nodded, folded her socks up and said “Open wide, and keep these in here while I look for something for you.”


“It’ll be all right, Kaycee,” she said to the younger girl, before I stuffed her socks into her open mouth, the grey visible through the “O” of her lips as I looked in the cupboard.  There was a roll of grey duct tape there, so I tore some long strips off and stuck them over her mouth, covering her lower jaw as she looked ahead.


“I’m really sorry if this scares you, Kaycee,” I said as I looked at them from the door, “but it won’t be for long.  I’m sure someone will come along soon and free you.  Until then, just relax and play with each other.”


They both watched me as I left them, searched the house, and then left them alone.  Really, I try to make it a game for them, but sometimes it just does not turn out that way.




Sometimes, when I visit a family, it’s not who I expect to be there that I meet at first.  I guess that doesn’t make a lot of sense when you put it like that, but I’m thinking of the times when, rather than meeting the family first, I meet the domestic staff.


The time that comes to mind was in the early spring, and I was in the more upper class side of Manchester - near where all the footballers live, and the family I was planning to visit had a daddy who managed one of the better known clubs.    They were playing an away game, so I thought it would be a good time to visit and see what I could find.


Now, naturally their house was well secured, and naturally I was going to have to find a way to get in, but on this occasion I had a plan.  I knew they employed a housekeeper, who lived in Macclesfield with her ten year old daughter, so I figured that for once I was going to have to make two visits - one to the housekeeper, and one to the family.


It was about eight in the morning when I sneaked into the back garden of the terraced house, and made my way up to the back door.  I knew I was taking a big risk in doing this, but the gains in my mind made it more than worthwhile.


There was no time for the usual social niceties, as I peeked into the window and saw her sitting with her daughter.  The girl had light brown hair, pulled back from her head and held in a pigtail, and had on a purple sleeveless top with a furled collar, blue leggings and sneakers.  As for her mother, she was wearing a white roll neck sweater under a red tunic, black leggings and fawn coloured calf length suede boots.


Taking a deep breath, I walked into the kitchen and said “Hello Carly - your mother asked me if I’d come today and help you play a special came with Harriet.”


“I’m sorry,” her mother said as she stood up, “but...”  She then caught a glimpse of my gun as I stood behind her daughter, and sat back down again, saying “Oh yes - I’d forgotten.  You’re coming to work with me, Carly, and we’re going to play a game of...”


“A game of hide and seek,” I said with a smile.  “But we need to get there first - so finish off your breakfast, and then we can all go together.”


“OK,” Carly said as I sat down and watched her with her mother.  As she finished, her mum said “Go upstairs and brush your teeth, Carly - we’ll go in a few minutes.”  As she ran up the stairs, she looked at me and said “I don’t know what you’re planning, but please - don’t hurt her.”


“Don’t worry, “ I said calmly, “I just want you to play a game with her, your employer and your employer’s daughter, and it will be a game of hide and seek.  I think she’ll enjoy telling her friends about it.”  I wasn’t wearing the mask today, but I’d bought a false beard and wig from a theatrical store, both red unlike my true hair colour, and I also had on a pair of dark glasses.


“All right - but you forced me to do this, didn’t you?”


“Don’t worry - the delightful Delilah Avery will understand your position perfectly.  Now, get your coat and your car keys - you don’t want to be late for work.”


It was a reasonably short drive from the row of terraced houses to the gated mansions.  Carly sat in front with her mother, and I sat behind, watching to make sure she didn’t spoil the illusion.  Eventually, however, we waited for a pair of wrought iron gates to open, and she drove in, stopping and parking the car as I got out and opened the door for her.


She went up to the door, taking out a set of keys, but as we walked in she heard a beeping sound.  “I’ll turn the alarm off,” she said as she opened a small white box on the side, and pressed a sequence of buttons, the beeping stopping when she had done so.


“That’s very good,” I said as I closed the door.  “Now, we need to wait for Harriet and her mother to come back, so why don’t I explain how the game is going to work.  Why don’t we go and sit in the front room.”


To call it a front room was a misnomer - it was a palace.  “Sit down and put your hands on your laps,” I said as I took the bag I was carrying and drew out two lengths of cord.


“What are they for,” Carly asked as I knelt in front of her, and tied her wrists together.  “We’re going to pretend I’m a bad man who has come to steal things from Harriet and her mother,” I said quietly.  “I surprised you and your mummy, but while I talk to Harriet’s mummy you’re going to get free, and then you and Harriet need to play hide and seek.  If you manage to stay hidden from me, then you get a big prize.”


“What happens if you find us?”


“Well,” I said as I tied her mother’s wrists together, “if I find you, then I’ll bring you to where your mummies are, and you get to be with them.  They’ll be playing along, but I can make you just like them and then you can all play together.  Does that sound fun?”


“I think Harriet will like that - let me tell her about it when they come in,” Carly said as I heard the gates opening.  “Not a word now, we don’t want to spoil the surprise,” I said as I checked the ropes, then stood by the door.  I had deliberately tied Carly’s wrists loosely, but her mum had her wrists crossed and tightly tied together.


So we waited for a few minutes, and eventually I heard this Geordie voice say “Are you there, Mrs Brown,” before Delilah Avery walked in.  She was wearing a blue jumper with red and white stripes at the cuffs, waist and neck, a long skirt with a vertical Aztec print, and knee length tan leather boots.  She had on dark glasses, and her brown hair was cut short.


Holding her hand was her ten year old daughter Harriet, wearing a red, blue and yellow tartan coat over a pair of leopard print leggings.  She had a pair of tan cowboy boots on her feet, and a grey beret on her head.


“Hey Carly,” she said as she looked at the other girl, “why are you and your mum sitting there with your hands tied together.”


“You have a visitor, Mrs Avery,” Carly’s mum said, and for the first time she saw me standing there, my hand revealing the top of the gun in my jacket pocket.


“Hello, Harriet,” I said quietly, “Why don’t you go and sit next to Carly, and your mother can have a seat in that nice leather armchair over there.  Please keep your hands where I can see them, Mrs Avery.”


“Is this what I think it is,” Delilah said as she sat down, and Carly’s mum simply nodded as her daughter showed Harriet her wrists.  “Wow,” was all Harriet said before Carly shook her arms free, took her friend by the hand and said “Let’s hide!”


“I’ll count to one thousand,” I said as they ran up the stairs.  “one, two, three....”  As the footsteps faded upstairs, I looked at Delilah, and said “Now, Mrs Avery, if you would be so good as to turn your back to me and put your hands behind your back.”





I slowly crept up the stairs, and opened the door that was first on the row on the upper landing.  It was a bathroom, which a quick search told me had nothing and nobody, so I moved on to the next room.


This proved to be Harriet’s bedroom, as I could see by the Disney Princess duvet set, and the rag dolls and teddies that were scattered around the room.  I stepped in, keeping quiet as I looked under the bed, but there was no one there.  As I turned round, however, I heard a giggle behind a pair of screen doors in the wall, and opening it I saw Carly hiding there.


“Got you,” I said quietly, “Do you know where Harriet is?”


She shook her head, and said “Does this mean I have to be kept hidden now?”


“For a little while,” I said as I took out some lengths of cord from my pocket.  “Turn round and put your hands behind your back.”


Carly giggled as she did as I asked, and I tied her wrists tightly and comfortable together, making sure they were crossed before I started.  I then helped her to sit down, and tied her ankles together, side by side, as well as her legs below her knees.


“now,” I said as I reached up and picked one of Harriet’s scarves, a red long one with tassels at the ends, “I need to make sure you can’t warn Harriet if she comes back to the room, so I’m going to tie this into your mouth.  When I find her, I’ll bring her here, and then take you both down to your mummies, all right?”


Carly nodded and let me tie the scarf between her lips, while I closed the door on her and went along the rooms.  Eventually, I found her parent’s room, but I didn’t need to look too hard - there was a tartan coat, a beret and a pair of cowboy boots on the floor, as well as a hump under the bed covers that moved as I walked to it.


“BOO!” I said as loudly as I could as I pulled the covers back, and found Harriet lying there.  She had on a long mustard coloured jumper, and the bottoms of her leggings were  tucked into white socks.


“You found me,” she said with a laugh.  “Does that mean we’re both caught now?”


“It does indeed,” I said quietly as I helped her to stand up.  “Now, put your hands behind your back.”




“I caught you, so now I’m taking you and Carly back to be with your mums, and I make sure you can’t hide again, remember?  Carly told you.”


“Oh yeah,” Harriet said as I tied her wrist tightly together, “so are you going to keep me quiet as well?”


“I’m afraid so,” I said as I found one of her mother’s headscarves, rolled it into a band and stood behind her.  “Open wide now - it won’t hurt I promise.”


“Well, if ussss,” she said as I pulled the band gently between her lips, and then tied the ends at the base of her long brown hair.  “I do,” I said as I walked her to her room, picked Carly up in my arms, and then walked down behind Harriet to the front room.


“EEfndugrls,” Delilah said as we came in from the couch she was lying on.  I had bound her arms in a box behind her back, with rope around her wrists and elbows, as well as around her forearms, and more rope around her upper arms and chest.  Her ankles were tied tightly together, as were her legs below her knees, and a last band of rope was tied around her skirt.   The wide band id duct tape over her mouth held another scarf firmly in place.


“I did - and they’ve come to play with you now,” I said as I sat Carly in a chair, and then tied some rope around Harriet’s tummy and arms to keep them in place.  I then helped her to lie in front of Delilah - there was enough room for her to do that safely - before tying her ankles together with rope, as well as her legs below her knees.


“Hvgngfnnmmeee,” Harriet said as I turned my attention to Carly, helping her to sit forward as I tied her arms to her tummy as well.  Her mother was sitting on the floor, her legs bent up and her wrists tied down now to the rope around her thighs, with more bands around her calves and ankles.  Her shoulders also had rope round them, with a second length going from that band to her legs, while she too had a mouth covered in silver tape, with something underneath.


“Now then,” I finally said as I bent Carly’s legs up so that she was sitting in the chair, and tied her ankles to the rope around her tummy, “I need to have a second look round - make sure no more girls are hiding.  Stay right here...”


I left them for a while, helping myself to Delilah’s very expensive jewellery, before returning and checking on them.  The last thing I did was put some tape over the mouths of the two girls, explaining “Now you are just like your mummies” as I did so.  I then left them there, using the car I came in to get away, and calling the police an hour later.


I like it sometimes when they play games with me as well - like one young girl who liked chess...




On this particular occasion, my job had taken me for a few weeks to Edinburgh, and I had been very busy in the city centre, with very little chance to have time to do my other business.  One weekend, however, I did manage to get out of any meetings, and I took a train out to one of the towns between Edinburgh and Glasgow, my backpack with me in case I saw anything or anyone that took my interest.  I had a day rover type of ticket, so I literally could get off anywhere - which was nice, when I saw a woman with a yellow scarf covering her hair sit a few tables down from me.  She was wearing a mid-length tartan coat and jeans, and in herself did not look that well off - but the Louis Vutton bag and the gold jewellery I saw on her wrists under the coat told a different story.  I could see the light brown hair under the scarf as she sat talking.


She had a ten year old girl with her, clutching a doll in her arms.  She was wearing a grey duffel coat over a long sleeved top, which was made to look like a pale blue t-shirt over a top with striped sleeves.   She was wearing a long gypsy style skirt with pink, purple and light blue panels, and a pair of black shoes.  Her long black hair was cut to frame her olive skinned face.  The doll had on a red and checked small dress, white tights and black shoes.


Well, this was one of those impulse moments, as they got off the train and I followed them.  Had they got into a car at the car park, I would have gone back to the platform and got on the train again, but instead they turned up a path, going along a canal towpath and over a bridge before they walked into a large house in a walled off garden.


I stopped by the gate and looked in - there were no other cars in the driveway, and she had to unlock the door, both good signs of nobody else being present, so I allowed myself a few moments and then walked briskly up the path, putting my hand on the door handle and finding that it opened without any problems.


I could see the grey coat hanging up, and heard a young voice say “I’ll set things up, mama, while you get the drinks.”  I could hear a clicking sound from the front room, so I thought at first it was some sort of game as I crept down the corridor and looked into the well furnished front room.  I had been right about the game - the girl was setting up a chess set.


As I slipped into the room, having first pulled the stocking down over my head, the girl looked up and gasped.  I put my finger to my lips as I stood behind the door, watching as he mother carried in a tray with two glasses of fruit drink and some biscuits on a plate.


“Ready for your lesson,” she said, and then she saw the look on her daughter’s face.  “What is it, my darling,” she said as she looked on, and then felt my shoulder on her hand.  “Who... Who are you,” she said without looking round.


“I’m just someone who likes to play games,” I said quietly, “usually robbers, and I thought you and your daughter might like to play as well.  You’re not going to refuse, are you?”


As I spoke, her daughter looked at me, and then said “But Mama and I play chess at this time every day.  Would you stop us playing?”


I had to admit, she was a little charmer, so I said “I tell you what - you and your Mama have a game of chess, and whoever wins gets to play me.  But the loser has to watch after I have made sure they cannot interrupt.  If I win that second game, I’ll go and leave both of you to play in peace.  If I win, you both have to play my game as well.  Does that sound like fun?”


“How will you make sure they can’t interrupt?”


“I have ways,” I said quietly, “but first things first - let me see how good you are.”


“Is it all right, Mama - can we play our game and his?”


I tightened my grip on her mother’s shoulder as she nodded, removing her coat and fixing her yellow scarf over her hair to cover her neck to the top of her Fair Isle jumper, before they began their game.  I have to say, the game was short, and the mother was good - but the daughter was better, as she won easily.


“Very well done,” I said as she smiled at me, “but now we need to play the first part of the game.  The robber has to make sure your mother cannot interrupt while he plays you at chess - so I need you to sit nice and still for the moment while I make her comfortable.”


“It is all right,” her mother said as I pulled her hands behind her back, fetched some rope from my rucksack and bound her wrists tightly together, “I am sure you will win the second game, my little princess.”


“Thank you mama,” the little girl said as she sat there, watching me tie ropes around her mother’s arms and chest.  “You are a very bad robber to make sure my mama is forced to stay like that.”


“I know,” I said with a grin as I looked at her, and tightened the chest ropes by passing some smaller lengths of cord around them under her mother’s arms, “but you might win the second game, and then I have to go.  Please, lie down and rest your head on the arm of the couch.”


I was talking to her mother at that point, who made herself as comfortable as possible while I tied her ankles and legs with bands of rope.  Now, I was culturally sensitive enough to know not to remove her scarf, so I took a cotton cloth and a long black scarf from my rucksack, and said “We don’t Mama to talk for a while either, so I’m going to put this in her mouth, all right.”


“Will that be all right, Mama?  I do not want to play a game you do not want to play.”


The mother looked up at me, and  nodded, opening her mouth to allow me to push the cloth in, then add the knot I had tied in the scarf and keep the padding in as I tied it round her head.  “Now then,” I said as I sat in front of her daughter, under the watchful gaze of the bound and gagged woman, “Would you like to be white?”


Now, as I said she was good, and the match was a tense one, but in the end I won out as I forced her into three checkmates in a row.  “Where did you learn,” she said as she looked at me.


“It’s a secret I’m afraid,” I said as I stood up.  “Now, why don’t you lean forward, and put your hands through the gaps in the chair back?  I’ll make sure you’re as comfortable as your mama for my game.”


She was sitting in an old wooden chair, like from a dining table, which had three vertical bars at the back.  The gap was big enough for her to slip her arms through, and as I tied her wrists together she said “So you’re going to pretend to rob us?”


“That’s right,” I said as her mama squirmed on the couch, the rope around her booted ankles rubbing against the leather, “but I will make sure you get freed before anything else happens.”  I wrapped some rope around her waist and the chair back, to keep her in place, and then tied her arms to the chair back as well, then knelt in front of her and started to tie her ankles together.


“I’m glad I lost to you - you’re a very good chess player,” she said as I passed the rope between her legs, and she swung them up to have a look at them.  “It’s not often I get beaten.”


“Rrrmm,” her mother mumbled as I lifted her daughter’s skirt up a little, tied her legs together and then lowered them again, before standing up.


“Now, my dear, I need to make sure you can’t call out for help before I tell you you can start doing so.”   I saw her mother shaking her head, but I said “That way you and your mama are both at the same starting point.  Now, open your mouth and let me put this in.”


I held a folded handkerchief in my hand, and said “It will take a few minutes, but as it gets wetter it will be more comfortable.”


“All right,” she said, “but will you do something else for me?”


“What would that be,” I said and I watched as she looked at her doll, sitting on the floor.  “Will you make Anya the same as me, so that she can play along too?”


I picked up the doll, and said “Yes, I can - now open your mouth please.”  As she did so, I pushed the cloth in, and then used a thin black scarf between her lips to keep it in place.  I then took some string, moved the doll’s limbs so that it was sat down, and tied the plastic ankles and wrists together with a length between them in front of her.


I then found a roll of black tape, tore off a length and smoothed it down over the painted lips, before putting it on the little girl’s lap.  She looked at it, then at me before saying “mmffsnotcvrd.”


“Do you want it to be,” I said, ignoring her mama’s muffled pleas as I saw her nod, so I put some strips of black tape over her lips - and then over her mother’s as well.  “Happy now,” I said as I brushed her hair away and looked into her blue eyes, smiling as she nodded back to me.


Thirty minutes later, I was walking back to the train station, having promised mama and her daughter someone would come and free them - which I am sure is what happened.


Eventually.  At least they were happy - once or twice I’ve ended up being an intermediary in fights, much against my will - they’re so time consuming...




It was the weekend, and I had planned to visit on this particular day a local celebrity - she had won a reasonable sized prize on the lottery, not millions but a fair sum, and had appeared in the local paper with her daughter.  I was looking at it as I sat in the cafe, watching the street - she had permed strawberry blonde hair, while her daughter had brown hair done in two pigtails, as they smiled out of the page.


As I glance up, I saw them walking down the street, the kid’s hand in her mothers.  The daughter was wearing an orange t-shirt and a dark blue denim skirt with a frayed hem, as well as a pair of sandals on her feet.  Mummy had on a blue top with short sleeves and a rounded v-neck, a knee length fawn coloured skirt and heeled sandals.


Folding up the paper, I picked up my rucksack and headed out of the cafe.  I knew they lived only a few streets away, and I also knew there was no husband or boyfriend - the article had made that perfectly clear.


We walked down some side streets, and into a row of semi-detached houses.  As we got closer to her house, I saw a Volkswagen Golf parked outside, the door opening as mummy and daughter approached.


The woman who got out had long brown hair, and was wearing a brown ribbed v-necked jumper, light coloured slacks and a pair of black kitten heels.  As she closed the door on her side, the other side opened and another girl got out.  She had straight brown hair, was wearing a pink top and denim pants that came to half way down her calves, with sneakers.  She also had a look of hatred like one I had rarely seen before on her face, as she looked at the other girl.


“Hello, Sue,” the new arrival said as I stood some way off, looking at an A-Z, “thanks for agreeing to meet with me today.”


“Yeah, we need to sort this out Abi,” mummy said, “Why don’t you and Zoe come in?”  She opened the gate and allowed the second mother and daughter to walk up the path to the house, her own daughter following behind them as she opened the door and went inside.


Well, I came prepared as I usually did now, so I waited a minute, then walked up the garden path, round the side of the house and stood listening by the kitchen window, which was slightly open.


“Look, Abi, I know Karen has been acting up a bit since the divorce, but I really don’t think she is capable of that.”


“I know what you think, Sue, but they both got hauled into the Deputy Head’s office yesterday.  When Zoe got home, she told me Karen had called her all sorts of names, and she just had enough.”


“That’s not what Karen said - she said Zoe was picking on her and tried to pull her hair.”


“Whatever’s going on, Sue, we need to stop this right now - we need to get them to stop fighting.”


I slowly opened the kitchen door to see the two mothers sitting at the table, holding mugs of coffee as they had their backs to me.  I slipped in, and closed the door quietly as the one called Abi said “I don’t understand it - they were such good friends until this happened.”


Abi shook her head and said “I know - they played all the time.”


“Well, perhaps we can persuade them to play a game now,” I said as I drew my gun out and pointed it at the two women. “Please - no sudden movements or screams.  We don’t want to scare the kids, do we?”


“whhhhhh who are you,” Sue said as she put her mug down, Abi staring at my stocking covered head as well as my gun.


“Please don't panic,” I said quietly as I heard raised voices coming from a room at the front of the house.  “All I want is your valuables, and for you and your daughters to play a little game with me, so that they don’t know what’s happening.  By the sound of things, they need the distraction at the moment.”


“Please,” Abi finally said “Don’t hurt them or us.”


“I don’t want to - we’re going to go to the room they’re in, and you’re going to say you’ve both invited me here to play a game of robbers with all four of you, as a way of trying to solve their feud.  Understand?”


The two women nodded, as I heard one of the girls shout “YOU TAKE THAT BACK, ZOE!!!”


“And I think we  should move now,” I said as I motioned for both of them to stand up, and walk in front of me. As we entered the front room, the two girls were staring at each other in the most hateful way, standing face to face.


“Zoe, Karen,” Abi said, “Please stop and look at us.”  The two girls turned and saw me standing behind their mothers, the gun safely stored in my jacket pocket.


“What the...” Karen said as she stared at my covered head.  “Hello girls,” I said quietly, “your mothers are going to tell you why I’m here.”


“This man,” Sue said as she looked at her daughter, “has come because we want you two to stop fighting, and the best way we can think of that is to play a game where you have to help each other.”


“What sort of game,” Karen said as she looked at me.


“Robbery,” I said quietly, “I’m pretending to be a robber, and I’ll make sure both you and your mothers are unable to move or call for help while I pretend to rob the place.  Sue, will you please draw the curtains?”


“You mean you’re going to tie us up,” Karen said as her mother walked over and drew the heavy brown curtains across the window.


“That’s right - but it’s only a game.  I’ll pretend to take some of your mum’s jewellery, and then you can try to escape - but you’ll need to help each other to do it. Maybe that way you will realise it’s better to help each other than to fight.”


“No,” Abi said as she crossed her arms and stared at her mother, “I will not play a game in her house when she might beat me.”


“And I won’t play a game with her, full stop,” Karen said as they both looked at me.


“Girls,” Abi said as she cast a frightened look at me, “It’s very important that we all play this game with this man, or we don’t think you’ll ever get to...”


“No, Abi,” I said quietly as Sue stood and watched all of us, “it’s all right.  After all, it’s clear neither of them wants to admit that the other is better, or that they could easily win any challenge that was set, so we may just have to lock them in a bedroom and then they miss out on all the fun.”


The two girls looked at each other, then Karen said “I can beat Zoe any day of the week - but if she’s too scared to try...”


“I’m not scared,” Zoe said as she looked at her rival, “so you’re the robber who’s going to make sure none of us can move?”


“That’s right, and we can start playing right now - unless you two are too scared?”


A little reverse psychology can sometimes work miracles - which is what happened here, as they both said “I’m ready” and then looked at each other.


“Good,” I said as I slipped my rucksack off, “then you both need to sit on the couch, with your hands on your head, while I make sure your mothers can’t help you once I start to secure you.”


They both did as I asked, while I took Abi’s hands behind her back and tied them together with rope, crossing her wrists and making sure it was tight.  “You go and sit in the chair over there,” I said after I had tied her arms to her side, the rope going above and below her chest, “and Sue, you come and stand in front of me instead.”


Karen watched as I tied her mother’s wrists and arms, saying “that looks like you won’t get free Mum,” before I invited her to sit in the other chair of the three piece suite.  “You turn now girls,” I said as I looked at them.  “Stand up, turn round and cross your wrists behind your back.”


“I’m so going to get free before you do,” Karen said as she looked at Zoe, while I bound her wrists together with rope.  I knew these two had to sort their differences out, and I had an idea as to how to help them do it.


I bound her wrists, then tied them to her waist with more rope, before winding another length around her arms and stomach to lock them in place.  The twelve year old tried twisting after I had done this, then said “Oh this is tight - make it tighter on her.”


“Typical,” Zoe said as I tied her wrists and arms, “You really don’t think you can lose, can you?”


“Would it be rude to ask what started this feud,” I said to Zoe as I pulled the rope between her arms and body, and then tied it off behind her.  She shrugged her shoulders as I turned her round and helped her to sit down on the couch, Karen watching as I tied her ankles tightly together, then her legs below her knees and over her jeans.


“You sit down next to her,” I said to Karen, who stuck her tongue out as she allowed herself to fall on the seat, and then watching as I tied her ankles and her legs below the edge of her skirt. 


“Now, don’t move,” I said as I moved to Sue and tied her ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees, moving her skirt a little to allow me to do this.


“It was Rob,” Zoe finally said as she twisted her arms and legs round, “Karen made him hate me.”


“Rob?  What did I do to him,” Karen said as she watched me tie Abi’s ankles and legs together.


“You told him I was a freak.”


“I didn’t - you told him I was a cry-baby because of Daddy leaving!”


The two mothers looked at each other, then at me as I took four cloths from my bag.  “I’m going to pretend to have a look round,” I said as I pushed a cloth into each of their mouths, “so sit still, sit quietly, and if I come down and find you have pushed these out of your mouths I will make sure they stay there for a very long time.”


I made my way upstairs, and searched the rooms, taking everything of value I could find, before I came down and put the pillow case I had used in my rucksack.   The two girls were trying to talk to each other, while the mothers looked at me.


“Well, I have pretended to rob you,” I said as I looked at them, “but now I need to finish getting you ready for the escape challenge.  First, let’s make sure you stay quiet.”  I had taken four scarves from Sue’s bedroom, which I now used as cleave gags on each of them the cloths in their mouths sticking out from the edges.


“whstssfr,” Zoe said as she looked at me while I tied the scarf between Karen’s lips.


“Well, we want the game to be as real as possible, don’t we,” I said as I helped their mother sot sit back to back on the floor, and then tied their upper bodies together at the waist and their shoulders with more rope.


“Now for you two,” I said, “Ready for the challenge?”


They looked at each other and nodded as I helped them to lie on their tummies next to each other, facing their mothers.  Pulling their legs back, I tied their ankles to the ropes around their stomachs, and then went back to my bag, taking out a roll of micropore tape.


“Just to make sure you really can’t talk to each other and have to communicate in another way,” I said as I wrapped the tape round Zoe’s head, trapping her hair safely underneath, then did the same to Karen, her pigtails on each side of the band.


They then watched as I took the tape and wrapped it round their mother’s heads, holding them together as I covered their scarf gags.  By the time I had finished, they could only move their eyes as their daughters giggled under the tape and silk.


“Right,” I said as  I cleared my stuff away, “you need to figure out how to help each other escape - and then how you’re going to get your own back on this lying little brat called Rob.”  I waved to them as I left the house, sure they would work everything out - or at least, hate me more than each other when they find out what had really happened.




There have been other occasions when I have interrupted a family play time, and where ever possible I like to turn them to my advantage - and one of the funniest of those happened a few years ago, when that series Life On Mars was on the television.


I had been studying this particular family for a few weeks - father, mother, and twelve year old daughter.  He was an actor, and had appeared in some fairly major films, as testified by the pictures I had seen of the three of them at premieres, so I knew there were possibilities.  Not just for personal gain, but if he was an actor then there was a very real possibility they would play along as well.  This would make my job a little easier.

I had decided to call on them and invite them to play while the dad was at an awards dinner in London, so at about seven in the evening I drove up in a blue transit van I had - borrowed for the evening and got out, walked up the path and knocked on the door.  I was trying to mix it up a little, you see - I also was not wearing the usual stocking on my head, but as I waited for the door to be answered I pulled down the brim of the “beanie hat” I was wearing and covered my head with the balaclava mask.


The door was opened, not by the mother or the daughter, but by the au pair - a young blonde haired woman, wearing a white mohair jumper, dark grey trousers and knee length straight fawn coloured boots.  I knew she was a live in worker, but I had hoped she would be out.  Still, I had learned to deal with difficulties, so I pushed in, held her to the wall with my hand over her mouth, and said “Not a word - where are they?”


As if by answer, I heard an older woman call down “Who is it, Bridget?”  I looked at her and removed my hand, as she said “It is all right Mrs Holder - it is just a salesman, I will deal with him.”


“Very good,” I said quietly, “Now, I need to keep you out of the way - where’s your room?”  She indicated a door to her right, so I closed the door and said “Inside - quickly.”


That was when I got my second surprise of the night - she was not alone.  There was a seven year old girl sitting in the room, watching television, who looked at both of us as we came in.  She was wearing a white jumper over a pink ballet dress, and had brown woollen tights on.


“Who is this, Aunt Bridget,” she said as she looked at us with her blue eyes, so I whispered into Bridget’s ear, and she said “This man has come to play a game with us, as well as Mrs Holder and her daughter.  We need to pretend he’s come to rob the house, and he needs to make sure we are nice and quiet, and won’t get in his way.”


She then turned to me and said “Please, she’ll play along if you take care of me first.”  With that, she held her hands out, so I said “What’s your name?”




“All right, Ingrid - you and your Aunt Bridget are going to sit on the bed, and put your hands together as if you were in church.  I’m going to arrange it so that you both lie on the bed, and then I’m going to go and play with the others, all right?”


Bridget sat down and hugged her niece, then held her hands out as I tied them tightly together, then those of Ingrid.  I then knelt in front of them and tied Ingrid’s ankles together, as well as her legs above her knees, before I slipped Bridget’s boots off and did the same to her.


I then lay Bridget down on her side, and held her arms up until Ingrid was lying in front of her, before lifting the girl slightly so that her aunt could hug her.   From there, it was easy enough to tie their wrist ropes to each other, and some rope around their waists.  It was a simple tie, but I thought it would be enough for the game.


“Are you going to stop us talking as well, Mister Robber,” Ingrid said as she looked at me.  “I’m afraid I will have to - I don’t want you to spoil the surprise for the other two,” I said as I took two cheap bandanas from my bag, rolled them into bands and tied knots in them.  “Don’t worry - I’ll let you watch the television and I’ll change it to a cartoon channel.”


“Thank you,” Bridget said before I gagged her and Ingrid, then left them cuddling together.  I made sure the phone in the room was disconnected, and I removed the battery from Bridget’s mobile phone, before slipping out and into the house.


As I walked towards a room where the light was shining under the door, I heard a younger girl say “Did Granny really wear clothes like this in the seventies?”


“Yes she did - and I think we look wonderful in them as well.  I’m going to get some drinks - try those boots on and see if they fit.”


Flattening myself against the wall, I saw the door open and Mrs Holder come out.  She had a wide floppy cream coloured hat on her head, and a white boa wrapped around her neck.  She walked to the kitchen, her back to me as I stepped forward and looked in the room.


The television was on, and the curtains drawn, but I could see they were watching an episode of Life on Mars.  Her daughter was sitting there, also wearing a floppy hat and feather boa.  She was wearing a white roll necked sweater and black tights, and was sitting on the couch, pulling the zip up on a pair of knee length tight black leather boots.


“They fit like a glove, Mum,” she called out without turning, as she stretched her legs out and looked at them.  So I slipped into the room, walked up behind her, hand gagged her and said “Don’t move or make a sound - I’ve come to play robbers with you and your mum, so just play along.”


“llllrt,” she mumbled as the hat fell off, revealing her brown hair which was also cut in a seventies bob.   I removed my hand, put my finger to my lips and hid behind the couch as her mother walked back in.


I heard her say “Oh yes - they fit you very nicely.  Diana, you look worried, what’s wrong,” as on the screen someone said “this is a raid - nobody move.”


“What he said,” I said as I stood up and pointed my gun at Mrs Holder.  She looked at me, then at Diana who said “It’s all right Mum - he said he’d come to play robbers with us, like on the program.”


Her mother looked at me as I slowly nodded, then put the tray down and said “Please, just take what you want, don’t hurt us.”  She was wearing a black top with a round collar, that revealed her neck and the top of her shoulders, a red mini skirt with black tights, and knee length white boots in a style I believe was called “Go-Go”.


“Very good,” I said as I looked at her.  “I just want to take your jewellery, so I need to keep you two out of the way.”


“What about Bridget?”


“I’ve already taken care of her,” I said.  “Now, let’s keep with the theme of the program, shall we?  I want you both to kneel in front of the couch, lean over and cross your wrists behind your back.”


“Why?  What are you going to do,” Diana said as she turned and looked at me, her eyes widening as she saw my balaclava for the first time.


“Tie you both up,” I said as I took two coils of rope from my bag, “and then rob you.  Now, just do as I say.”


“IT’s all right, Diana, it’s just a game,” Mrs Holder said as knelt on the floor, her daughter joining her as the leaned down and started talking to each other, while I started to tie Diana’s wrists tightly together with the rope.   “After all, this is how we would have been tied up in the seventies as well.”


“So this really happened to you?”


Mrs Holder nodded as I crossed her wrists and tied them together.  “It was a few years later, but your grandma and I were held captive in our home by a group of robbers.  They treated us well, but it was scary.”  She looked round at me as I passed the rope between her arms, and said “So we played dress up after that, and sometimes played tie-up games with Grandpa to get over the fear.  I felt it was time you played the same sort of game, just in case.”


I smiled at that, as I made them straighten up and tied their arms tightly to their sides, with rope around their shoulders and stomachs to keep them firmly in place.  “All right,” I said as I looked at them, “sit on the couch and cross your ankles.”


They both did as I asked, watching as I tied their ankles together and the rope squeaked over the leather, then tied their legs together below their knees.  On the screen, the female cop was approaching a garden shed, and on opening it she saw two women - another mother and daughter - in the shed, looking up from their hiding place over the rags tied in their mouths.


“Are you going to keep us quiet like that,” Diana said as she twisted her legs round.  “No,” I said quietly, “I’ll find something else.  Just sit quietly and watch the rest of the program.”  I left them there, unable to move as I went and searched the house, pocketing money and jewellery as I went along.  I then went to the bathroom, and smiled as I found what I was looking for, before heading back to the room.


Diana had slipped off the couch, while Mrs Holder had stretched herself along the length of the couch, her head resting on the arm as they watched the television.  “Perfect,” I said as I came in, “I found the perfect thing to keep you quiet for the game, a real seventies icon - they used it all the time in films and television in those days.”


“What’s that,” Diana said, as I held up the strips of brown fabric sticking plaster.  “Put your lips together,” I said as I peeled the backing paper off one, and then pressed it down, stretching it over her mouth and cheeks from ear to ear.  I could even see the shape of her lips under it, as I did the same to Mrs Holder, and then checked their bonds.


“Enjoy the rest of the show,” I said as I waved to them, “And you can start to try and get free.  I’ll be back to release you later.”  I then checked on Bridget and Ingrid, who were still on the bed, Ingrid sleeping in her aunt’s arms.







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