The Games Player – Christmas Presents








One of the strange things about the lifting of the lockdown in this country is families catching up with missed events – and my recent visit to one family as a prime example that even in May, it is possible to find Christmas being celebrated.


Masie Bennett is a television presenter, and lived in the outskirts of Manchester with her husband and her children – six year old twins Bob and Alice.  The particular day I was visiting, I knew her husband was working until late – what I was not prepared for was what I found when I walked in…


It was a Friday afternoon – the day before the start of the mid-term Whit Week holiday, so I knew the three children had finished school at lunchtime.  So when I pulled up outside the large house, I smiled before making sure I had all I needed.  It was a cool day, as I was wearing a black blouson leather jacket over a jumper, as well as leggings tucked into knee length black leather boots.


Getting out of the car, I put the small rucksack over my shoulders, and then walked up to the house, walking round the side before I pulled the stocking down over my head, and slowly opened the rear door.


Walking into the kitchen I was struck by two things.  One was the sound of Michael Bublé playing Christmas songs.  The other was the large roast turkey that was on the table, foil over the top.


Fortunately, my attention was soon taken by something else as Maisie walked into the kitchen.  She was wearing a brown dress over a white long sleeved Arran knit jumper, the jumper visible under an opaque panel at the front and below the round neckline, and a double length of large beads round her neck.   She had a black leather belt fastened round her waist, and was wearing a pair of long black patent leather boots, a pair of white socks over the top of the boots and covering her knees, and black tights under that.  She also had a shocked expression on her face as she saw me, her long light brown hair falling down her back as she said “oh no…”


“Hello,” I said with a smile as I showed her the starting pistol, “did I miss a few months?  A Christmas dinner…”


“Yes… My mother is coming round for the Christmas dinner we could not have…”


“Well,” I said with a smile, “we’re going to play a game before you prepare the rest of the dinner – and I trust you understand that the children must know that this is a game.”


“I know – I’ve heard of you,” she said quietly as she looked at me, “so what are you going to do?”


“We’ll start by making sure your hands and arms are secured,” I said as I slipped my rucksack off, “and then we can take the children a snack and a drink for them to have while we play the game…”




Bob and Alice looked over as I opened the door to the front room, and saw the Christmas tree with all the decorations, as well as the presents under the tree.  Bob was wearing a red, black and grey checked zip top over a black shirt, grey jeans and black socks, while Alice was wearing a long white Arran cardigan over a red jumper, grey pants and light blue socks.


“Who are you,” Bob said as he looked at me, “and where’s mommy?”


“I’m hear,” Maisie said as she walked into the room, me picking up the tray and following her.  The to young children looked at her before Alice said “what happened to your arms, Mommy?”


“The masked lady has done something to make sure I cannot move them – come and have a look,” Maisie said as they walked over and stood with her.  I had crossed and secured their mother’s wrists together behind her back with rope, and then formed two bands of rope around her arms and body, one round her stomach and another round her upper arms, before cinching those bands with shorter lengths around them both between her arms and body.


“Why did she do that Mommy,” Bob asked quietly as he looked at me.


“Well, I and your dad thought we’d give your grandmother a huge surprise, by pretending we were being robbed – its just a game, so we’re not going to eb hurt, but as part of the game the masked lady is going to make sure none of us can move.  Now, when your grandmother gets here, she can play as well, all right?”


I looked at Ben and Alice as they looked at Maisie, and then smiled as they both nodded.  “Well, let’s start playing,” I said with a smile, “both of you, sit on the couch, and I’ll give you both a snack and a drink – and while you have that, I’m going to do something to make sure you both can’t get up and walk for a while.”


“Okay, masked lady,” they said in unison as they sat down, and I gave them each a snack on a plate and a glass of milk.  Maisie sat herself in a seat, and watched as I took some lengths of white cord from my bag.


I started with Bob, putting his ankles together and then wrapping the rope around and between his legs to secure them together as he had his food and drink.  A second length of rope went around his legs below his knees – and it was only when I took the rope between his legs and tied the ends off when he noticed.


“Cool,” he whispered, as I did the same thing to Alice, making sure her legs were secured together as well.  She twisted them round, and smiled as she said “this is fun – what do you do now?”


“Well,” I said, “if you’ve finished, give me the plate and cup and then lean forward and put your hands behind your back – I’m going to make you look just like Mommy.”  She handed me her dirty dishes, and Bob watched as I went behind the couch and tied his sister’s wrists snugly together behind her back, making sure I cinched the binding as well.  I then used a longer rope to make sure her arms were secured to her side, before I said to him “ready?”


A few minutes later, he also had his wrists and arms secured, as Maisie said “having fun?”  They both nodded as I went back to my rucksack, and took out a roll of white tape.


“Now, we want to surprise Grandmother, right?  Well, this is how you can do it…”




As the doorbell rang, I looked at Maisie and said “remember, say nothing until she comes in.”  As she nodded, I opened the door and waited as an older woman came in.  She had short brown hair, and was wearing a great coat over her outfit, her legs in a pair of knee length grey boots with a fur lining at the top.


“Well, are they ready for the Christmas dinner,” she said as she turned round, and then saw Maisie – and me as I closed the door.


“Mum, listen carefully – this is the woman they call the Games Player, and the kids think this is a game before dinner.  You need to play along as well, so that they don’t get scared.”


“The…  Where are Bob and Alice?”


“In the front room, waiting for you to join them.  Mum, please…”


She looked at Maisie, and then at me, before she removed her coat to reveal a peach coloured gull wing silk top, and a knee length matching lace skirt with a white underskirt.


“The Games Player?  So we’ll eat later?”


“The turkey is cooked and everything else just needs to be cooked through,” Maisie said as I walked behind her mother, and took her hands behind her back, securing them together before I wrapped a much longer length of rope round her arms and upper body.


“Let me guess – the kids stay with me while you go round the house with her?”


“That’s right,” I said as I pulled the rope tight and tied it off, and then cinched the bands with lengths between her arms and body, as Maisie twisted round.


“It’s – strangely comfortable,” the older woman said as she twisted as well.  “So – shall we?”


I opened the door to the front room and she smiled as both Bob and Alice said “Shursphrsghrnhdmh” through the lengths of tape that covered their mouths.


“Oh my – the bad robber has caught us all I see.  Can I sit between you?”


They both shuffled to the side as she sat down, then watched as I bound her ankles tightly together as well, both of them giggling as she tried to move her legs and the boots rubbed together.  A length of rope around her legs, below her knees and sitting on top of her boots with the cinch between her legs, and she was as tightly secured as they were.


“I guess I’ll have to be quiet as well,” she said, both of them nodding as I tore a long strip from the roll, and then pressed it firmly down over her mouth, making sure it formed to the contours of her chin as I did so.  She smiled under the tape as she kissed Bob and Alice’s head, before I took Maisie by the arm and said “now don’t move – your mother will be back to join you very soon.”


“Don’t worry – Grandma will keep you safe,” Maisie said as they all nodded, and we left the room.  “Thank you for making sure they’re not scared,” she whispered as I closed the door.


“My pleasure -  now, where do you keep your jewellery…”





When we walked back into the room, Maisie looked at her children, asleep with their heads against her mother, and said “Ghshstmhtrnnhh?”


“Ghssshhh,” her mother replied as she watched Maisie sit in an armchair, the white tape covering her mouth and the shape of her lips visible underneath.  I took two more lengths of rope from my rucksack, and crossed her ankles before I secured them tightly together, making sure the rope went between her legs as well.  The final rope went around her legs, the rope sitting on top of her socks as I secured them together below her knees, and then stood up.


“My thanks to both of you,” I said as I looked at them, “I’m sure you will have a lot to talk about over the dinner table once you are free.”


They both nodded before they looked at each other, while I turned off the light, the tree lights twinkling in the dim light that came though the drawn curtains.  It made for a lovely Christmas scene…







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