Mrs McPhee in Charge










As the men walked across the car park, they looked round, before pulling the rims of their hats down to cover their heads and climbing in the back.


“Guid murhnin Gentlemen,” the masked woman who was in the back said as they closed the door, and looked at the other two masked man sitting there.  All of them were wearing blue boiler suits, as one of the new arrivals said “good morning Mrs McPhee – where’s Jay?”


“ach, the puir man has the lurgy…”


“He’s not well?”


“Nay – but he wahns us tae carry on wi me in charge.  Any questions?”


All four men shook their heads as the masked woman smiled.  “Guid – ahn rehmember, be polite.  Let’s gae…”







“and that makes it four.  Do you get it now Ivy?”


“Yes Mummy,” the seven year old girl said with a smile as she looked at her mother.  She had long brown hair with a black silk bow tied in it at the side, while wearing a long sleeved black top and blue jeans.  The legs of the jeans were tucked into a pair of knee length black cowboy style boots, the tops of a pair of black socks with white trim sticking over the boots.


“that’s great – now finish off the homework,” Holly Bush said with a smile.  She and her daughter Ivy lived in a large house set back from the main road with her older daughter Rose and her husband Ken, the financial manager for a London based firm.


Ivy loved to be like her mother – and there was n exception today, as Holly was also wearing the black jumper, jeans, and boots with the black socks sticking over the top.  The main difference were that Holly’s jeans had designer rips, and her boots were knee length soft leather.


“Can I have a drink Mummy,” Ivy asked with a smile, Holly nodding as she said “of course” and left her sitting at the table.  She moved through the lower floor, the breeze blowing through her long blonde hair.


The breeze blowing through… 


As Holly entered the kitchen, she saw the door to the rear of the house was open – but that was not her immediate concern.  What was were the five people standing in the kitchen, all wearing blue boiler suits, black boots, black gloves, and black balaclavas – and one of them was a woman.


A woman who smiled as she said in a Scottish accent “guid afternoon Holly - mah name is Mrs McPhee, ahn these are my boys.  Hae ye heard o me?”


“Mrs..  Mrs McPhee?  Is one of these men Jay Edwards?”


“Jay is unwell, so he ahsked me ahn them tae drip in ahn dae sum business wi yer husband – ahn tae make sure ye anhn the gahls are kept safe.  Ah trust ye understand what I ahm saying?”


“Oh god – please no…”


“Stay calm, lassie – dae as e say, yeh’ll ahl be fine.  Noo, where are the gahls?”


“Ivy – Ivy is doing er homework, Rose is coming home soon.”


“Guid 0 fix the wee yin ae drink, ahn then we cahn start…”




“Thanks,” Rose Bush said as she got out of the car, waving as it drove off and she walked to the front door of the house.  The eleven year old had long brown hair, and her silver jacket was over a grey t-shirt, a blue skirt and mis-calf black boots completing her clothing.


She walked up and let herself in the front door, calling out “I’m back – where are you?”  When there was no answer, Rose shrugged her shoulders and walked into the front room – stopping with her eyes wide open as she saw her mother and sister sitting on the couch.


Ivy had ropes around her upper body, holding her arms to her sides, and her wrists were tied together in front of her.  They were also tied to a band of rope around her legs below her knees, and she could see another band holding her ankles together.


Her mother also had her legs secured, and rope round her arms and upper body, but her hands were behind her back.  Neither of them could talk – white tape covered their mouths as they looked at Rose.


She wasn’t in a position to say much either – a leather gloved hand had clamped itself over her mouth and was holding her head against someone.  Someone who said in a soft accent “Dinnae struggle lass – yer ma and sis are fine, ahn ye’ll be as well if ye dae as we tell you.”




Whrehshsthhjs,” Ivy giggled as Rose saw her lips try to move under the tape.


“Mah name is Mrs McPhee, ahn I winnae hert ye – will I, Holly?”


Holly shook her head as she said “Phlssslhsshnnnrhs.”


Noo, can I tak ma hand awa ahn ye’ll be quiet?”


Rose slowly nodded as the gloved hand was taken away, and she turned to look at the masked woman.  “Mah name is Mrs McPhee – ahn mah friends ahn I are looing after ye before yer da does sumfhing fer me.  Noo, that means ah need you like yer ma and sis – ahl richt?”


“Does it hurt?”


“No – just put yer hahns togefer in prayer fer me.”


Rose looked over as both Holly and Ivy nodded again, and then held her hands out, watching as the masked woman used some white cord to secure her wrists together.  She could also see two masked men standing in the doorway, and swallowed as more rope was passed round her body and pulled tight, forcing her arms against her sides.


Noo sit wi yer sister.”


She walked over and sat down, looking at Mrs McPhee for the first time as she knelt in front of her and crossed her ankles, then sued more rope to bind them tightly together.


“Why am I not scared anymore?”


“Dae ye hae a reason tae be,” the masked woman said with a smile as she took the rope between her legs, and then secured the ends together.


“Well, you are masked, and we are hostages – but it’s not scaring me as much as I think it should do.  How do you do that?”


“It’s ae gift,” Mrs McPhee said as she secured the young girl’s legs together below her knees, and then tied her wrists to that band, before she stood up.  “Ready tae be quiet?”


“Mum,” rose said as she looked at Holly, “aren’t…”


Holly slowly nodded as Rose heard a peeling sound, and then saw the strip of white tape in Mrs McPhee’s gloved hands.


“purse yer lips lassie – time tae keep quiet.”


She felt the tug on the skin round her mouth as the tape was gently pressed down over her lips, Rose trying to talk but only mumbling as she looked at her mother and sister.




Shhhn,” Holly said as she looked at the masked intruders.


“Mrs McPhee?”


“Aye,” the masked woman said as she left the room, and talked to one of the masked men, and then looked in.


“Ye expecting visitors?”


Holly slowly nodded as the masked woman said “Ach well – mair tae play.  Places Gentlemen…”







Sarah Calder smiled as she brought the car to a stop, and looked over her shoulder as she said “well, here we are.”


“Don’t know why I had to come,” her twelve year old son Steve said from the back seat.  He had short straw blonde hair, and was wearing a grey sweater over a white shirt, grey jeans and trainers.


“Come on – you love your aunt Holly?”


“Yeah, but I’m the only boy here,” he said as he reached over and unfastened the straps on his sister’s child seat.  Po was five years old, and his mother had adopted her as a baby from Vietnam.  The young girl had dark hair, and was wearing a tweed jacket over a white blouse, with a black lace cravat at the neck, grey culottes with dark tights, and knee length grey fashion wellington boots.


“I’m sure you can find something to do,” Sarah said as she helped Po out of the car.  She was Holly’s older sister by a year, and that day was wearing a blur blouson jacket over a pink dress, and knee length black patent leather boots with three inch stiletto heels.


“Come on,” she said as she walked to the door of the house, “this should not take too long.”


Steve nodded as Sarah took Po’s hand, and they walked into the house.  He followed them in – and then his eyes opened wide as he was grabbed from behind a large, leather gloved hand was clamped down over his mouth.  He could see two men, wearing boiler suits and black balaclava masks, who had grabbed his mother and sister and were hand gagging them as well, Po squirming as she tried to kick the man holding her and they both screamed for help.


“Hey, hey, wha’s ahl the rachet aboot?”


Steve watched as a masked woman walked out of the front room, smiling as she said “Well, wha dae we hae here?”




“Mah name is Mrs McPhee,” the masked woman said, “ahn richt noo, ah need ye ahl tae calm doon.”




The woman walked over to Po and looked at her as she said in a calm voice “ah know, it’s a wee bit scary, but look at me lassie.”  Po stopped squirming round as she looked at the woman, and then said “yhsss?”


“I promise you, ah’m no hurt ye, and mah boy won’t either – but ha need ye tae calm doon and stay quiet gonna while I talk.  Will ye do that?”


Sarah and Steve watched as Po slowly nodded, Mrs McPhee smiling as she said “let her go – ye taw take them intae the front room and make them comfy.”  The man let Po stand as she watched her mother and brother been taken into the front room.


“What are you,” Po said quietly.


“Well, ah’ll be honest – ah’m a robber, ahn my boys are robbers.  We need yer uncle tae do something fer us, and your aunt, her daughters, your family – you – are all going to stay here tae make sure he does wha we say.”


“Robbers?  What are you going to do to me?”


“Guid question – can ye put yer hands in prayer fer me?”


Po nodded as she put her hands out, palms together, then watched as Mrs McPhee took a length of white cord from her pocket and used it to bind her wrists tightly together.


“Does that hurt?”


Po shook her head as the man behind her took a longer rope, and then passed it round Po’s body, making her gasp in surprise as her arms were gently forced against her sides.


“You’re tying me up?”


“Aye – like yer cousins, yer brother, yer ma, yer auntie,” Mrs McPhee said.  Wahn tae see?”


Po wriggled round, then smiled as Mrs McPhee took her into the front room.  She could see Steve sitting with Ivy and Rose, watching a sone of the men bound his legs together below his knees, white tape over his mouth.  Her Aunt Holly was sitting in one armchair, her mother in the other, but both also had their hands behind their backs, ropes around their arms and body, ankles and legs, as well as the tape over their mouths.


“Can I sit with Mummy?”


“Aye,” Mrs McPhee said as she lifted Po up and sat her on Sarah’s lap, then took some cords and secured her ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees, before tying her wrists down to the leg ropes.  She then took the roll of white tape from one of the men, and said “Ah’ll put some o this oer yer moof – just relax qi yer Mammy.”  Po nodded as she felt the tape being pressed down over her mouth,


She nestled against Sarah’s chest as Holy said “hmmshrrheee.”




Holy slowly nodded as the woman turned on the television, the girls smiling and Steve groaning as a Barbie movie came on…






“Can I watch something I want to later?  I had to watch two of those films!”


“We’ll sort somefin oot,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile as Steve rubbed his wrists.  The masked men had untied the wrists of all the children, Po now sitting in the armchair opposite her mother as she watched the man untying Sarah’s arms.  Holly was standing up, as she said “so if anyone calls, I’ll call them back?”


“Aye,” Mrs McPhee said, “ahn ye can all eat in here when the food comes, but richt noo ye can see they’re all fine?”


“We’re fine Mum,£ Rose sad, “honestly.  O what else is going to happen, Mrs McPhee?”


“Well, when yer pa comes home ah’ll talk tae him, ahn he will eat wi you.  Then he goes wi one of my boys – and the rest of us make sure ye all stay nice ahn quiet somewhere.”


“so you’re going to tie us all up again,” Holly whispered?”


“Yes – but ye’ll be fine.  Noo, place the order, please.”


Holly nodded as she took her phone and placed a pizza order – just as the front door opened.  Mrs McPhee put a finger to her lips and looked at the children as two of the men stood by the door, the other two behind the couch and looking at Sarah and Po.


“Hey – where is everyone?”


“Ken,” Holly said quietly, “you…  You’d better come into the front room.”


“why, what have you..”  The flaxen headed man came in, dressed in a suit with a shirt and tie, and said “oh my god” as he looked round.


“We’re fine daddy,” Rose said,” and we’re having pizza for tea.”


“Holly, who… What…!


“Ken,” Holly said quietly, “They took us hostage this afternoon – this is Mrs McPhee…”


Ken looked at the masked woman as he said “so which one is Jay Edwards?”


“Ah,” the masked woman said with a smile, “Jay is unwell, ahn cannae be here today – so I’m in charge.  I trust ye understand wha I ahm saying?”


Ken slowly nodded as he saw the way all of the others had their legs secured, and the faint residue of gum round the mouths of his wife.


“Yes, I understand – you are in charge.”


“Guid – gie yer wife ah hand.  One o my boys will go wi ye.”


“Just do as they say – we haven’t been hurt.




Ken nodded as one of the masked men walked out with him and Holly, As Mrs McPhee said “noo then – we cahn hae a wee sing-song…”





“Thank you – here’s a tip,” Ken said as he took the Pizza boxes and handed over a note, the masked man closing the door and then walking with the boxes into the front room.




Ken actually smiled at the cheers from the girls as Steve hook his head.  “Thanks Uncle Ken,” he said as the pizza boxes and snacks were laid out, and then he sat with Holly.


“Just a normal pizza night for them,” Sarah said with a smile.


“Ahn we keep it tha way,” Mrs McPhee said with a smile as she handed a paper cup with Coca Cola in it to Rose.  tha way it’s mair fun fer them.”


“I think that’s the secret,” Holly said as she squeezed Ken’s hand.  “!I can be braver if you can Sarah - and we’ll all do what they ask so you don’t have to worry Ken.”


Ken nodded and then looked at Mrs McPhee.  “so, how is this going to work?”


“After they finish,” the masked woman said , “you ahn yer family cum wi me tae get ready.  Then we make sure the man o the hoos is unable tae stop us – anh then the offers.”





“I’m ready Mummy.”


Ken and Holly watched as Mrs McPhee brought Ivy into the master bedroom.  She was wearing a pair of peach pyjamas with long sleeves, a print of a grey dog on the material.  The top had a round neck, and she had bare feet.


“That’s good,” Ken said as he knelt down and looked at his daughter.  “Mrs McPhee has told me that you and your mother are going to stay in this room before I go and do what they want, but I need to know if you really want to be like Mummy.”


“I always do, daddy,” Ivy said with a smile as she looked at Holly.  Her mother was wearing an identical set of pyjamas, but her hands were behind her back, and she could see the two bands of rope that framed her chest and held her arms against her sides.


“Guid,” Mrs McPhee said, “ah need ye tae hold yer hands out, and then makes twa fist wi these in there.”  She watched as Ivy held her hands out, and then gripped the two sponge balls, watching as she wound the silver tape round her hands to make it look as if she was wearing boxing gloves.  The masked woman then pulled a pair of white socks up her arms, and taped them to the sleeves with white tape as Holly sat down on the bed.


“Mah friend is goona tie yer mammy’s legs,” Mrs McPhee said as she took a length of rope from a bag, “ah need ye tae put yer hahns behind yer back.”


“Does it hurt, Mummy?”


“No it doesn’t hurt,” Holly said as she felt the rope being tied round her ankles.  Ivy nodded as he felt Mrs McPhee take her covered hands behind her back, and then felt the rope on her wrists as they were secured tightly together.  She then saw Mrs McPhee double over another length of rope, and pass it round her, feeling her arms as they were forced against her sides like her mother.


Ivy could also see the masked man take the rope between her mother’s ankles and tied the ends off, before he took another length and secured Holly’s legs together below her knees.  She smiled as Ivy was helped to sit next to her on the bed, Mrs McPhee kneeling and starting to bind the young girl’s ankles together as well.


“It does fell funny, daddy,” Ivy said as her own legs were secured as well.   Ken nodded and said “now, I need to do what they want – promise me you’ll stay here and try to sleep.”


“We’ll be all right,” Holly said as Mrs McPhee tied the last rope off and stood up.


“Richt – open wide.”


“Stay safe,” Holly said before a folded cloth was pushed into her mouth, and then white tape was pressed down over her jaw and lips.  Ivy felt the cloth on her own tongue as she was gagged in the same way, before they were both helped to lie on the bed, looking at each other as Mrs McPhee tied a length of rope from Ivy’s ankles to Holly’s.


“I love you both,” Ken said as he kissed them both on the head, and then walked out with Mrs McPhee as the masked men stayed in the room.  They saw a second man walking Peter to the bathroom, as Ken said “Peter, you are the man of the house – stay calm and keep them all safe.”


“I will, Uncle Ken,” the young by said as he went into the bathroom, Ken walking down the stairs with Mrs McPhee as a third man stood there.


“Call at set intervals, aye?”


“Aye, Mrs McPhee” the man said as he took Ken by the arm and escorted him out of the house.  The masked woman then walked into the front room where Po and Rose were sitting with Sarah.


“Are they all right?”  Rose asked.


“Aye -ye’ll see them afore yae go tae bed,” Mrs McPhee said.  “Ye wahn a drink?”


Po nodded as she said to the guard “Go ahn get them – ah’ll stay here until the wee man comes doon.”




“Oh lord,” Sarah said as Steve came into the room, wearing a pair of blue pyjamas with a darker blue pinstripe.  The sleeves of the top were short, so Sarah could see the white rope that held his arms against his sides with his hands behind his back.  “Po…”


“I can be like that, mummy,” Po said quietly as Steve nodded and then sat down. 


“Steve, are you all right?”


“I feel a bit starenge,” the young mans aid as the masked man knelt down and started to bind his ankles together with more rope.  “My hands are covered behind my back, but – it does feel nice in a funny way.”




“Mum,” he said as he looked at Sarah, “I don’t have a choice do I?  I just have to accept it and try to stay calm.”


Sarah nodded as the man bound Steve’s legs together below his knees, and then stood up.


“Mrs McPhee?”


“Open yer moof laddie?”


Po’s eyes opened wide as she watched Mrs McPhee push a folded cloth into her brother’s mouth, and then heard the soft peeling sound as the white tape was torn free from the roll, and pressed firmly down over his mouth.  She then turned and looked at Rose, as she said “cum wi me, Lassie – it’s yer turn.”


“Aunt Sarah?”


“Don’t be afraid,” Sarah said as she took the gloved hand, and then walked up the stairs and along the corridor.  As she looked into her mother’s bedroom, she saw her mother and sister lying on their sides, Ivy’s eyes closed as her chest rose and fell.


“Get changed lassie,” Mrs McPhee said as Rose removed her jacket5 and then stripped off, putting on instead a short sleeved nightdress with a butterfly print on it which came down to her knees.  The sleeves were short as she saw the tape and the pair of white socks, and the two sponge balls in Mrs McPhee’s hands as she said “noo then – mahk twa fists.”


“Is this what you did to Steve?”


“Aye,” Mrs McPhee replied as she wound the silver ape round her fists, and then pulled the socks up her arms.  Once they were taped into place, she took some rope and made Rose put her hands behind her back, the young girl biting her lower lip as she felt the pressure on her wrists.


“Where are you going to leave us?”


“Somewhere safe - why?”


“Can – Can Steve and I be together?”  She grunted and then felt the rope pushing her arms gently against her sides.


“Oh?  Got ae wee fing fer your cousin?”


Rose blushed and nodded as the ripe formed two bands that framed her chest, before it was taken under one arm, up and around the back of her neck, and then under the other arm.


“Ah fink he has a wee fing fer ye as well,” Mrs McPhee said as she tied the ropes off behind her back.  “Tell ye what - if ah dae this, ahl four o ye need tae stay ion the main room.  Is that a problem?”


Rose shook her head as Mrs McPhee smiled.  “Okay then, cum wi me.”




As they walked back into the room, Steve blushed as he saw his cousin, and then Mrs McPhee said “Sit doon while ah tie yer legs.  One o my boys is gonna move Steve?”


Whhrrr,” the young man mumbled as a masked man put a seat cushion on the floor, and then lifted Steve off the chair, making him lie face down as he pulled the young boy’s ankles back and then secured them to his chest ropes.  He turned his head and looked at his mother and siter as Rose felt the ropes forcing her legs together below her knees.


“Ready lass?”


“Aye,” she said before the cloth was pushed into her mouth, and then the white tape pressed down over her lips, Steve looking at the shape of her lips he could see under the gag.  She was then helped to lie face down on the floor, another cushion being placed down for her head, and she was hogtied as well.


“And us?”


“Cum wi me,” Mrs McPhee said as Po took her mother’s hand, Rose rolling not her side and looking at Steve as he did the same.






Mhthhh,” Rose said as they both tried to get comfortable.


“I want to stay with them,” Sarah said as they walked into a spare bedroom.


O course- yer clothes are on the bed, so get changed.”


She watched as Sarah sat on the bed and started to undress Po as her phone pinged.


“This is Mrs McPhee?


“Aye – guid, mahk sure he keeps behafing noo.”




“Doing wha he heeds tae do,” Mrs McPhee said as Sarah nodded, and then pulled down over Po’s head a long pink t-shirt, a pair of eyes and a smile on the front that looked like Patrick Starfish.


!I know we need to be like the others – but let me make sure Po’s hands are covered and you can tell me how to secure her upper body, before you do the same to me.”


“Please,” Po said quietly, Mrs McPhee nodding as she handed Sarah two sponge balls.


“Tell her tae make fists, than cover her hands wi the silver tape, that wi the socks, then use the white tape tae make sure the socks stay on.”


“We’ll both be the same,” Sarah said as she stroked the young girl’s hair, and then gave her the sponges to hold, then covered her hands as she had been ordered.  Po looked at her sock covered hands, and then turned round as Mrs McPhee showed Sarah how to secure her daughter’s hands together behind her back.


“It doesn’t hurt, doesit,” Sarah said as she tied the ends off.


“no mummy – it actually feels better than before,” Po giggled as Mrs McPhee gave Sarah a longer length of rope, and told her to double it over.  She then ordered her to pass the rope round Po’s body and pull the neds back through the middle, as her arms were forced against her sides.  She made several more passes, the rope going round her upper arms and below her elbows, and then pulled the band together behind her back before it was cinched as with Rose.


“Yer ma’s turn,” Mrs McPhee said, Po nodding as she watched Sarah change into a pair of short red pyjamas with a white trim.  Her hands were then covered, her arms secured to her body so that she could only wriggle round.


“We’re going to join Steve and Rose again,” she said, Po nodding as they walked back down int the living room.  They sat on the couch, Steve watching s Mrs McPhee bound his sister’s ankles and legs together, and then one of the masked men his mother’s legs.  He tried to ignore how he was feeling as both of them were then gagged, Mrs McPhee helping Po to lie down with her head on her mother’s lap as Sarah smiled.




Steve slowly nodded as he felt his eyelids closing…







It was the sound of the door opening that made Sarah open her eyes, and look down at Po as she slept peacefully on her lap.  Steve and Rose were now lying facing her, as she heard someone call out “Police?  Anyone here?”


Hnhhhhhrrrr,” she called out as the door to the room opened, and two policemen came in.  One came over and peeled the tape from her mouth as Ken looked in.


“Sarah – Holly, Ivy?”


Hpphn their bedroom,” she sad id as the cloth was removed from her mouth, Ken nodding as he and another policeman ran up the stairs.  He went into the main bedroom to see Ivy with her head on Holly’s chest, the two still asleep as he walked over and looked at them.


Khhhn?  Hshhthfffrhr?”


He nodded as Holly looked at him, Ivy opening her eyes and saying “hlldhdhdhheee?”




“There you go,” Yvonne Williamson said as she handed Mark the steaming hot water and lemon.


“thanks – so no problems?”


“None whatsoever – how are you feeling?”


“Bette r- and richer…”







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