The Games Players – America – Part 2
As we headed further south, we grew to appreciate just how large, how diverse, and really how beautiful this country was. Even after our more recent experiences, there was still much to admire in the scenery, and the welcome we got in most places.
Our trip had taken us into New Mexico, and we had stopped in what we would call a caravan park, but really it was just a parking lot where a number of RVs were parked up for the night. Tammy was sitting with some of the other kids as we talked to the other parents, as well as the man who owned the patch of land we were parked on.
He was a little older than me, with balding light brown hair, and his wife was the same age as Janna, with long brown hair. Their three children were there as well – an eight-year-old girl, a six-year-old girl, and a four-year-old boy. They seemed a nice enough couple – but as we talked, I was aware that they held some views I may not – personally agree with.
They lived in a large house that was a short distance away – and as Janna and I settled Tammy down for the night, we talked about what we had heard – and what we might like to do about it…
The next day was a Saturday, and Janna took Tammy to the town nearby – leaving me to pick up later, as I stood in the woods behind the house. We had replenished on our supplies of materials during our journey into the state, so my rucksack was full – and as I pulled the stocking down over my head, and the gloves over my hands, I made my way up to the rear of the house and looked in through a partially opened window.
I could see the man of the house there, wearing a grey fleece over a blue shirt and jeans, and the two girls. The older girl was wearing an off-white sheepskin waistcoat over a grey dress, jeans and brown ankle boots, as she took a plate from her father and said “Thank you Pops.”
“You’re welcome Kit – Moe, drink your milk up.”
“Yes Daddy,” the younger girl said as she raised a glass to her lips. She was wearing a long blue denim blouse, over white pants which had the legs tucked into short tan leather Frye boots. Both girls had long blonde hair, while their father was wearing a grey fleece over a blue shirt, jeans and brown shoes.
Well, I figured there was no time like the present, so I opened the back door and walked in, the family turning and looking at me as I said in a strong North of England accent “Hello there – I hope you’re all ready for the game your parents have arranged for me to play with you.”
The man stared at me, and then said quietly “Girls, go and sit in the front room.” I watched as they walked off – and then he picked up a large knife from the side of the sink and looked at me, waving it round as he said “I have no idea who you are, but if you don’t get out of my house right now, I am going to cut you.”
What was it with Americans and heroics? I was yearning already for the quiet of our home country – but I just pointed the gun at him and said “no – no, I think you’re going to put the knife down, and listen to me. After all, I could put a bullet in you before you took another step – and what do you think the girls would say if they heard that?”
I could see the indecision in his eyes, so I took a step forward – and then he dropped to his knees, the knife falling on the floor as he whispered “please, don’t hurt me or my family, you can take whatever you want, but please don’t hurt me…”
Okay – abject cowardice was a new one on me, so I frowned as I said “I want you face down on the floor, hands behind your back.” He was actually whimpering as he did that, and I knelt next to him, taking some rope and binding his wrists tightly together as I said “what’s your name?”
“Del… Please, don’t hurt me…”
“Del, if you don’t stop crying, what are your family going to think of you,” I said quietly as I tied the ropes off, and then made him get on his knees, before I used a longer rope to make sure his arms were held tightly against his sides. “Where are they?”
“The girls will be in the front room,” he whispered, “my wife and son are still upstairs. Oh god…”
“Del, I’m going to put some tape over your lips – and if you keep doing this after I have done that, then you will be in real trouble. So be a man for your daughters, calm yourself down – and put those lips together.”
Seriously – I had to take charge? I waited until he had stopped crying and nodded before I covered his moth with silver duct tape, and then made him stand up, and walk in front of me into the front room. Kit and Moe were sitting watching cartoons, as I said “hello girls – sorry I took a while to come in with your father, but he wanted to be first to play the game of Robbers – and he wants you both to play as well.”
“Dhwhthshs,” Del mumbled as I said “so, watch what I am doing to him – I’m pretending to be a robber who has come to take your things, so that means you all have to spend some time being captives for me.”
“Even Mom and Zac?”
“When I go to see them, yes,” I said with a smile as Del sat down, the girls watching as I used more ropes from my rucksack to bind his ankles together, and then his legs below his knees.
“There now,” I said with a smile as I stood up, Del looking at his girls. “Do you think your pops is going to get free from that and raise the alarm?”
“No,” Kit said quietly, “so are you going to do the same to us?”
“Oh yes – but don’t worry,” I said with a smile as I handed them each a length of cord to hold, “do you think that will hurt you?”
“Do you think I will?”
Both girls shook their heads as Del closed his eyes, and I said “good – so let’s do your legs first. Both of you, sit on the couch, and watch what I do.” I smiled as Kit and Moe watched me take the ropes from them, and then sue those ropes to secure their ankles together.
“Don’t be afraid Pops,” Kit said as she looked over, “we’re not.”
“Quite right, Kit,” I said as I tied her legs together below her knees, making sure I took the length between her legs as I did so. Once Mow had her legs secured together as well, I said “there – not scary is it?”
“No – so will we have our hands behind our backs and the ropes like Pops?”
“IF you want me to – I will be making sure you cannot use your hands anyway.” I got my answer as they both leaned forward and out their hands behind their back – how could I refuse their request?
And so it was, a short while later that both Moe and Kit had their wrists secured together behind their backs, ropes around their arms and upper body – and silver tape over their mouths as they tried to talk to each other.
And Del? He was still whimpering, shaking as I checked his ropes and whispered “stay calm – you do not want the girls to panic, do you?”
He looked over and shook his head as I said “good – now girls, keep watching the cartoons, I need to go and get your mother and brother playing as well.”
They both nodded as I walked out of the room – and saw someone move quickly at the top of the stairs. Making my way up, I walked into the main bedroom, and then opened the doors of a walk-in wardrobe – to see young Zac sitting with his mother. The young boy was wearing a pair of denim dungarees with a white shirt, while his mother had on a white top with bell sleeves, faded and ripped janes, and brown wedge heeled boots – as well as a shocked expression.
“Who… Who are you?”
“Me – I’m someone who gets families to play games of hostages and takes payments. I understand your fear – but something tells me you are not as scared as your husband was.”
“Del? The guy is squeamish at swatting a fly – oh don’t tell me he tried to stand up to a masked intruder…”
“Okay – I won’t, but he did try to threaten me with a knife, then crumbled when #i called his bluff.”
“Typical – where is he now?”
“Bound and gagged in the front room – your daughters are there as well, just the same, and keeping an eye on him. So, it’s time for you and young Zac here to join the same as well.”
“What game, mommy,” Zac said as he looked at me.
“This man is being a bad robber,” his mother said quietly, “and he has taken the others captive – so he is going to do the same to us. But we’ll both be up here, and I will not leave you alone, all right?”
I nodded as Zac said “so what do you want me to do?”
“Why don’t you both come out of there,” I said as I stood back, “and then I can make sure your hands and arms stay safely next to your body.”
“He won’t hurt us,” she said as she stood up, taking Zac’s hand as they walked out and I took more rope from my rucksack.
“What’s your name?”
“Okay Matty – I want you to hold your wrists out and cross them for me.” As she did, I took a length of rope and secured them tightly together, Zac watching wide eyed as he said “are you going to do that to me as well?”
“I am – ready?” Matty watched as I secured her son’s wrists together, and then used longer ropes on both of them to make sure their arms stayed against their sides.
“There now – Zac, why don’t you lie on your mum’s bed, and I will use the same rope to keep your ankles and legs together. I’ll make sure your mum stays right next to you when we have finished.”
“Okay,” the young boy said as he sat on the bed and shuffled back, Matty watching as I took some more ropes and tied his ankles together, as well as his legs below his knees. As he wriggled round, Matty said “what did you use to keep them quiet?”
“Duct tape,” and then I saw the look in her eye as I said “but for you two, something else. That is for later though – why don’t you sit down, and I will secure your legs while you tell me where your valuables are.”
“I’ll give you the combination for the safe as well – serve that wimp right if you take his coin collection.”
“Hell hath no fury like a woman wronged,” I said quietly as I watched her sit on the bed, talking to Zac as I secured her ankles and legs together, as well as giving me what I needed to know. She then lay down and watched as I produced a roll of white tape from my bag.
“Is that for my mouth?”
“And your mother’s, Zac – watch,” I said as I tore a strip off and pressed it down over Matty’s mouth, Zac watching as she turned her head and nodded. I then covered his mouth with a smaller strip, watching as he nuzzled into his mother while I turned my attention to taking what I wanted.
“Well,” I said as I turned and smiled, “enjoy the game. Any message to pass on to the rest of the family?”
“Jhhstthkmehthfhn – hndkhkhm.”
“I may not do the latter,” I said with a smile as I left them in the room and went back to the others. Del looked at me, clearly still afraid as he twisted round, so I said “your mother and Zac are fine upstairs – enjoy the game.”
“Fhnkkuh,” Kit said as I left and walked for about a mile, before Janna picked me up.
“Interesting – met a coward and a sensible woman…”
As we crossed over the state line, I wondered if Texas, the huge land of plenty as displayed in shoes like Dallas, would be any different from the rest of our trip. The answer to that was simple, at least for the first part of the journey.
But I was eager to make another home visit, and it was when we stopped in another small town to take on supplies and eat that we saw a Sikh family walking round the store as well. The parents looked to be in their early thirties – the father with a full black beard and the turban on his head, wearing a blue polo shirt and knee length shorts with blue running shoes. His son was about ten, I reckoned, and dressed like his father, only with the knotted scarf over the bun his hair was in on his head.
His wife had long dark hair, and was wearing a dark blue vest top and a pair of cycling pants the same colour as what her husband and son were wearing, a long with flat black shoes. Her daughter was holding her hand, and wearing a red t-shirt and white shorts with white sandshoes.
Anyway, we followed them out of the store, and then to a large single storey house on the outskirts of the town.
Steve looked at me, and said “what do you think?” I nodded and then slipped out, wearing a white polo shirt and shorts, before I went to the side of the house, slipping on a pair of gloves and pulling the stocking down over my head as I did so.
When I let myself into the kitchen, I saw the mother standing there, chopping vegetables and signing to herself. She turned as I closed the door, and smiled as she said “hello – can I do something for you?”
“I hope so,” I said quietly, “because I have to tell you, I am here to rob you.”
“To rob us? Arjan, will you come into the kitchen please?”
I wondered what was going on as her husband came in, looking at me before he said “is this someone who is a robber, Geet?”
“It is apparently – but I have to tell you, we have little save for some gold jewellery. Whatever we have, however, we gladly share with you.”
“I beg your pardon?”
Arjan smiled as he said “we as Sikhs are meant to uphold the values of honesty, compassion, generosity, humility, integrity, service, and spirituality on a daily basis. You have been honest with us, we will equally be honest and share with you. Tell me, did you come alone?”
“Why do you ask?”
“We have read of you online – you fit the description of one they call The Games Player, and yet you are only one of them. Is your partner outside?”
I had to think for a moment about how to respond to this, before I said “why do you ask?”
“We are not going to stop you,” Geet said as she smiled, “but we would like to meet your partner, if we can.”
“And we will not alert the authorities – even if you have to make sure we are unable to,” Arjan said. I have learned over the time I have done this to read people, and I could tell they were sincere…
“Very well – but I need to ask you to disable any alarms or security cameras, just in case.”
“Of course,” Arjan said, “go and call your partner in, and then come and meet the children while Geet prepares some refreshments.”
I have to admit, this was a real first for me, as I opened the front door of the house and beckoned to Steve. He looked at me, and then went back into the vehicle, coming out with Tammy in his arms. He was wearing a tan short sleeved shirt and shorts, but as he came closer he whispered “what’s going on?”
“You would not believe me if I told you,” I said as I took Tammy in my arms. “Just put on some gloves and mask up, then come with me.” I watched as he pulled on some gloves and the stocking down over his head, before we went into the front room.
“Welcome,” Arjan said as we came in, “and I see you have a child with you. Jasleen, why don’t you play with this delightful girl while our guests have some snacks with us?”
“Of course,” I said as I sat Tammy with the young girl, and we both sat down. “Forgive me,” Steve said, “it’s just the first time someone has actually welcomed a visit from us.”
“I understand,” Arjan said as his son looked at us. “Are you really robbers,” he finally said.
“Forgive Randeep – he is curious.”
“Well, we are,” I said, “and we usually ask families to play a game of hostages with us.”
“Hello,” Geet said as she carried in a tray with drinks and snacks, “please, take and eat.” We looked at each other, and then lifted up the stockings so our mouths were uncovered, and took a drink.
“As my wife said to your partner,” Arjan said to Steve, “we do not have much, but we are willing to share with you.”
“You are aware of us, so you must know we usually leave those we visit…”
“Unable to raise the alarm – we would be interested to see how you do that,” Arjan said as I saw Jasleen and Randeep nod. “If nothing else, it gives my children something to tell their friends about.”
Steve looked at me and raised an eyebrow, before he said “well, given your hospitality, how could we refuse?”
“Good – we do not ask you to tell us anything about yourself,” Arjan said, “that would be impolite. Your daughter is delightful.”
“Thank you,” I said with a smile as I put my glass down. “We would normally make sure the children are secured first, but I do not want to stop your daughter playing with mine.” Opening my rucksack, I took out a roll of white tape and said “will she allow me to secure her wrists in front of her, and her ankles, and then I will take care of your son as well?”
“That sounds fair – Jasleen, come and let the masked lady take care of you.”
“No – I will go over,” I said as I knelt next to her, Tammy giggling as I taped Jasleen’s wrists together in front of her, and then taped her ankles together as she continued to play.
“Does it hurt?”
“No – it is fine Randeep,” Jasleen said as Steve took the roll of tape from me, and said “so we can take care of you fully now Randeep. Please put your hands together in front of yourself.”
“It is all right,” Arjan said, “because the masked man is going to do the same thing to me as he does to you.” His son nodded as he put his hands together, and Steve taped his wrists together, and then wound the tape round his arms and stomach to keep them in place as well. He then sat next to his father as Steve made sure Arjan’s hands and arms were taped as well.
“I have to say, I am glad I have two such handsome men to look after me and my daughter,” Geet said as I took the roll of tape, and made sure her wrists and arms were secured as well. I then knelt down and taped her ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees as she sat at one end of one of the couches in the room.
Steve then taped Randeep’s ankles together, as well as his legs below his knees, and did the same to his father as I said to Tammy “I need to make sure your new friend is just like her mother now.” She nodded and watched as I taped Jasleen’s arms to her sides, and then helped her to stand up and jump over so she could sit next to her mother, watching as I taped her legs together.
“It is – different,” she said as she looked at Geet, “but it is exciting as well.”
“I think we all find it exciting,” Arjan said as he looked round the room. Steve nodded as he left the room and I said “in a few minutes, I’m going to put some of this tape over your mouths as well – it will make sure you stay quiet, but I’ll also leave a pair of scissors on the sideboard over there so that, when you are ready, you can cut yourselves free.”
“I thank you for that,” Arjan said, “but cover my mouth first.” I nodded as I tore a strip of tape off, and smoothed it down over his mouth, pressing hard so that it held to the beard as well.
“Hwdhdhdhshnd,” Randeep giggled as I covered his mouth as well, and then I gagged Geet and Jasleen before her daughter lay down and out her head on her mother’s lap. I left them for a few minutes, returning as promised with a pair of scissors from the kitchen before I picked Tammy up.
“Say goodbye,” I said as I helped Tammy to wave her hand at the happy family, before I joined Steve and we took our masks off, making our way back to the RV in something of a daze…
All good things I suppose had to come to an end, and for us it meant returning the vehicle we were using for our trip to the airport at Dallas/Fort Worth before going to catch our flight home.
That was for the next day however – as we planned for our last night, we decided to stay in a motel – and Janna was talking to the woman who was in the room next to us. She was travelling with her three children – two boys aged eight and four, and a six-year-old girl. The woman herself – her name was Ellie – was a little older than us, and was wearing a grey cowl necked sweater, her blur jeans tucked into a pair of over the knee brown suede boots.
She was coming to the end of her holiday as well, but I heard her say she wanted the children to have an exciting last night – and that they had heard of the Games Players, and often wondered what would happen if they called. But she wasn’t that well off, so she thought that was unlikely to happen.
I looked at her children – Her sons, Deke and Timmy, were wearing denim shirts and tan trousers tucked into cowboy boots. Timmy had the sleeves of his shirt rolled up to his elbow, both boys with their fair hair neatly combed. Her daughter Kelly had longer hair, and was wearing a dark cardigan over a white lace dress, as well as the cowboy boots.
As they talked, I asked if Janna and Ellie wanted to go for a walk – and I would watch Tammy and the children. I also said the kids if they would like me to pretend to be the Games Player – an idea they all said they would like to try.
Ellie was a little uncertain, but Janna said they would be fine, so half an hour later I brought Tammy into the next room with me, as well as a bag of supplies – but no mask. This truly was going to be a game.
As the ladies set off, I told Deke, Kelly and Timmy that I was an escaped prisoner, and I was going to have to make sure none of them could raise the alarm – or their mother – before I left the next morning. So I let them go to the toilet, and then asked the boys to sit on one of the two beds, and Kelly on the other, before they put their hands together in prayer.
Taking some of the ropes, I made sure they each had their wrists snugly secured together – they were surprised at just how comfortable it was – before I said it would be more comfortable for them if I removed their cowboy boots.
They all agreed to that, so I slipped their boots off and put them to one side, before I used more ropes to make sure they each had their ankles secured together, as well as their legs above their knees. They were talking quite happily to each other through this, before the boys watched as I tool a longer length of rope, and passed it round Kelly, pulling her arms against her sides as the rope went over her stomach.
She let out a soft gasp as I did this, and then watched as I took the rope round a few times, and then helped her toile with her head on the pillows and took the rope down, wrapping it round her legs above her knees and over her skirt, and then between her ankles to make sure she stayed there.
“Is it all right,” Timmy asked, Kelly nodding as she looked over while I took another length of rope and did the same to Deke, laying him on one side of the other bed as I did so. I then bound Timmy so that he was lying next to his brother, before I watched them wriggle round.
“Now,” I said as I looked at them, “are you going to be quiet and not call for help, or do I need to make sure you cannot.”
All three of them looked at me, and then at each other, before Deke said “we’re gonna call for help.”
“No you’re not…”
It was a while later when Ellie came back into the room, and she saw Tammy asleep in my arms. Kelly was asleep as well – but Deke and Timmy looked over and said “Hllhmhmhmm.”
Their words were muffled by the white tape I had put over their mouths – the same ape over Kelly’s mouth as her chest rose and fell.
“Oh my,” Ellie said quietly, “what’s going on?”
“I just need a place for me and my kid to spend the night,” I said in character, “your kids are fine – so will you be, ‘cos I need to make sure you can’t raise the alarm either.”
“Do you want me to play the game with you as well,” Ellie asked, both boys nodding as I put Tammy in her car seat.
“Okay lady,” I said quietly, “sit on the bed next to your little lady, and put your hands together in prayer nice and quietly.”
As she did this, I took along length of rope and passed it round her arms, the boys watching as I forced them against her sides in the same way as them under her chest, and then used the rope to secure her wrists tightly together.
She lay down next to Kelly, looking at her and the boys and telling them they were all going to be all right as I took the rope down and tied her legs together above and below her knees, and then round her ankles, making sure the bindings were cinched at each point. So they looked the same – and then I covered her mouth with some of my white tape, before I said I would be right back, and took Tammy back to be with Janna.
Coming back in, I turned the light off and watched Ellie press her taped lisp on Kelly’s head, before waiting until the boys finally fell asleep. I then untied Ellie, and removed her gag as she thanked me for making the last night there so exiting for the kids. She also promised she would release them in the morning, but she did remove the tape from their mouths as well.
We saw then come out of the room the next day before we set off – coming home to whatever awaited us…
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