The Games Players – The Long Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our recent weekend away, which proved to be very profitable in the end, both Janna and I wondered what would happen if we planned a weekend in which we paid a number of visits, scattered over the country – it was certainly a challenge, but one we wanted to try.  This was before the lockdown took place, so we researched the travel, booked the rooms, and set off on the Friday morning, heading north on the A1 – but at about three in the afternoon, we pulled into the village of Wetherby, and stopped outside a large manor house.

 

This was the home of the Courtald family – David was the owner of a chain of car dealers, and his wife Susan a teacher at a local school.  That school was attended by two of her daughters – Molly, who was 14, and 12 year old Edith.  They had two other daughters – 16 year old Sue and 6 year old Kay.  According to our research, Sue had no classes on a Friday afternoon, and that particular afternoon was a half day holiday for the youngest girl – so our plan was to surprise them first, before the others returned from their school.

 

We were both wearing jeans and jumpers, but we had a smile on our faces as we looked round, and got out of the car, retrieving a bag from the boot of the car as we walked up to the house.  As we went up the driveway, we put on our gloves, and pulled the stockings down over our heads, before we let ourselves in.

 

We could both hear the television in the front room, but we made our way to the kitchen – and found Sue there, preparing a snack for her sister.  She was wearing a cream coloured cardigan over a brown vest top, and old jeans with the legs tucked into knee length tan leather boots.  She also had long blonde hair – and a high pitched squeal as I put my hand over her mouth, and told her to keep quiet.  Janna walked in front of her, and told her to remain calm, and listen.  As she told her we were going to rob the house, but for the sake of Kay and the others we were going to pretend it was a game, she nodded slowly and then I took my hand away.

 

She asked if we would hurt them, and I assured her we would not, as we allowed her to finish preparing the snack – and then I took her hands behind her back and bound her wrists tightly together, before we walked into the front room.

 

Kay was certainly surprised to see us – the young girl was wearing a black jumper with a white wool scarf wrapped round her neck and faded black jeans, with black Ugg boots, but Sue told her Mum and Dad had arranged a special surprise with us pretending to be robbers.  Kay nodded as Janna sat with her, and gave her the snack and a drink, while I sat Sue down in an armchair and used another length of rope to bind her ankles tightly together.

 

“So how do we play this game,” Kay said as she looked at Janna.

 

“Well, first I tie your ankles together like your sister,” she said, Kay watching as he took some rope and secured her ankles together as well, then her legs below her knees.

 

“Why my knees?”

 

“Your sister is the same,” Janna said, watching as I secured Sue’s legs together as well.  “When you’ve finished your snack, I’ll tie your wrists together, and then do something to keep you quiet.”

 

“What?”

 

“You’ll see,” Janna said with a smile as Sue nodded, so Kay finished her snack, and then put her hands together in front of herself, watching as Janna tied them tightly together.  As I did, I used a rolled up black silk scarf to cleave gag her older sister – before Janna used Kay’s scarf to gag her, her lips closing over the white wool.

 

“Mhmmsbhk,” Sue mumbled as we both heard a car pull up, and I looked out of the window.  I watched as Susan got out from the driver’s seat, pulling her taupe woollen cardigan around herself.  The grey tip underneath was just visible, her dark leggings tucked into the knee length tan biker boots.

 

Molly and Edith got out of the back seats, and it was obvious to me it was a non-uniform day at their school.  The older girl had slightly lighter hair, her dark cardigan over a grey mottled top, the bottom of the legs of her jeans tucked into the laced tan ankle boots.  As for Edith, she had a cardigan on with capped sleeves, the same shade of brown as her Ugg boots, with a long sleeved black top and black jeans.

 

So you can imagine how they looked when they came in, and saw Kay and Sue sitting on the couch, Kay smiling as the white wool steadily grew darker between her lips.

 

“What the…”

 

“Mrs Courtald,” I said as I came in front of them, “we are here as booked – I hope you don’t mind that two of your girls started to play the game of Robbers before you got back.”

 

Susan looked at her daughters, then at me and Janna, before she said “yeah – yeah right, the surprise game.  I forgot that was today.”

 

“Is that why Kay and Sue are tied up,” Edith said.

 

“And gagged?” Molly added.

 

“That’s right,” Janna said with a smile, “so we need the next part of the game.  Edith and Molly, right?  Why don’t you girls sit back to back on the floor, bend your legs, and hold each other’s hands?”

 

“Come with me,” I said as I took Susan by the arm, and led her out of the room.

 

“A game?  A GAME?”

 

“Well, we are the Games Players,” I said as she looked at me.  “So play along, the kids have some excitement, and you get to spend some time with them quietly.  I want you to come with me, while we visit your bedroom…”

 

 

 

When we came down after a short and profitable search, Janna was standing up, Edith and Molly holding hands with bands of white rope holding them together on each side.  They also had rope around their upper bodies and arms to hold them together, and bands of rope around their ankles, going around and between their legs as they contrasted with the brown of their boots.  They also had bands of rope around their legs below their knees.  Finally, woollen scarves were also pulled into their mouths, their lips closing over the material.

 

She had also bound bands of rope around the upper arms of Kay and Sue, all four of them looking at their mother.  I had already bound their mother’s wrists together behind her back, the bands of rope around her chest holding her arms against her sides as her cardigan was pushed to the sides.

 

“Hfhhnfhnghls,” she said as she smiled at them, the brown shawl I had used to cleave gag her soaking up the saliva in her mouth with her red lips over the material, as she sat down on the couch next to Kay.  I knelt down and crossed her ankles before securing them together, and then secured her legs below her knees as Kay fell gently onto her side, her head on her mother’s lap as she looked up and smiled over the wet wool.

 

“Right,” I said as I stood up, and turned the television on, “watch this for half an hour, and then you can try and get free.  The first person who manages to do so wins a special prize.”

 

They all nodded, Susan watching as Janna and I left the room and watched from the door.  She then looked at Kay, as I picked up the bag, and we slipped out, removing the stockings as we did so before leaving the house.  Walking to the car, we looked at each other, and then drove off.

 

 

We managed to get to our hotel outside Newcastle by eight, checked in, and then stepped out for a bite to eat in the city centre.  We had a busy day ahead the next day…

 

It was about ten on the Saturday morning that Steve dropped me off on a street in the housing estate in Cramlington.  We had decided for the Saturday to pay a visit each, so while he went back to the city centre to collect some information, I looked round.  I was wearing a black fleece over a white top, and jeans with the legs tucked into knee length black leather boot, my rucksack on my back as I checked my directions, and then started to walk to the home I was visiting.

 

Steve and I had looked carefully at the Wells family – David and Zoe, who ran a financial advice service, and their three children.  They had recently been featured in the likes of Country Life, and there were some opportunities there.

 

The house was a single storey detached one, and I looked round before I slipped up the side of the house, taking a moment to put gloves on and pull the stocking down over my head, before I tried the back door and let myself in.

 

It was a large kitchen – and sitting at the table were Hannah and Timmy Wells.  Hannah was six years old, and had on a blue pinafore dress with red trim, a white long sleeved top under the dress, grey tights with red dots, and black shoes.  Timmy was four, and had on a grey jumper, blue jeans and black sandshoes.

 

Both of them looked at me as I closed the door, then smiled as I said “Hello there – is your mummy or daddy home?”

 

“Daddy is,” Hannah said as she held a pencil in her hand, “Mummy has taken Polly shopping.  Why do you have something over your head?”

 

“Does it scare you?”

 

“No,” Timmy said, “but it looks funny.  Why do you?”

 

“Well – I’m an actress,” I said with a smile, “and sometimes, I get paid to play games with families where I pretend to rob them.  It’s always a surprise for the kids – and guess what I’m here for today?”

 

“To play a game with us?”

 

I nodded as Timmy and Hannah looked at each other, and then said “what do we do?”

 

“Well, are you doing your homework?”  When they nodded, I said “you can finish it while playing the game – if you let me do something first…”

 

 

Ten minutes later, I smiled as I opened the door to the ground floor office, to find David Wells sitting there, wearing a grey plaid shirt, jeans and grey shoes. He heard me come in, because he turned and said “oh sh…  The kids…”

 

“As far as they are concerned, they are playing a game of robbers,” I said as I looked at David, “and I strongly encourage you to play the game as well.  Do you understand?”

 

He looked at me for a moment, and then nodded as he said “what are you going to do?  And what have you done to them?”

 

“I’ll show you when we have finished in here,” I said as I produced from my rucksack a roll of silver duct tape.  “First, open that safe for me, and I’ll tell you what to put into my bag. Then, I’m going to secure your upper body before we go and see them.”

 

He nodded as he stood up, then knelt and opened the safe before I directed him to give me certain things.  I then taped his wrists tightly together behind his back, before wrapping tape around his waist and his upper arms, securing his arms to his side.

 

“What did you do with the kids?”

 

“Let them finish their homework – come on.”

 

I walked him to the kitchen, Hannah saying “look at us Dad, we’re playing the game like you,” David nodding as he looked at them.  They both had tape holding their legs together above and below their knees, as well as their ankles, Timmy smiling as he said “will you do this to Daddy as well?”

 

“And I’ll do what I did to your Daddy to your arms,” I said with a smile, “so can you both stand up.”  When they did so, I let them get their balance, and then they jumped in front of us, laughing as I followed to the front room with Dave.

 

He then sat on the long couch, Hannah and Timmy sitting either side of him, and watching as I taped his ankles and his legs as I had theirs.  I then got them both to put their hands together in prayer in front of them, before I taped their wrists together, then taped their arms to their bodies with two bands.

 

It was as I tore the tape off and smoothed it against Timmy’s arm that we heard the front door open and close, and Zoe Wells said “Where are you?”

 

“In here,” Hannah called back, “playing the game you and Daddy arranged?”

 

“Game?  What game,” was the reply as she came in with Polly, the ten year old looking at her brother and sister with her eyes wide open.  She had on a short sleeved grey dress over a long sleeved white top, with multi-coloured dots, grey pants and red trainers.

 

“Hey there,” David said as he wriggled round, the others copying as the tape crinkled, “we’re going to play the Robbery game now – and it’s time for you to join in.”

 

Zoe slowly nodded as she looked at me.  She was wearing a black jumper and skirt, a grey scarf tied loosely round her neck, with a matching skirt, patterned tights and tan knee length leather boots.

 

“Robbery game…”  She watched David as he nodded, and then said “I forgot this was today – Polly, do you need to go to the toilet?”

 

“Please…”

 

“I’ll go with them,” I said as I looked at the others, “be back soon, and we go to the next part of the game.”

 

They all nodded as we left the room, Polly going into the toilet before Zoe said “this isn’t a game.”

 

“No – but if the kids think it is, we all benefit.  So, be a good mother, and put your hands behind your back.”

 

When the toilet flushed, and Polly came out, she saw that her mother had her hands behind her back, and two silver bands around her upper body holding her arms against her sides.

 

“Your turn Polly,” Zoe said with a smile, “do you want your hands behind you or in front of you?”

 

“Behind me,” Polly said as she turned round, her mother watching as I crossed and taped her wrists together, and then wrapped the tape round her upper body in two bands as well.  She giggled as she heard the tape crinkle, and I said “let’s go back into the front room, and make you both comfortable as well.”

 

David looked at them as we walked back in, and said “see – we’re all taped up now.”

 

“Yes we are,” Zoe said as she sat down in an armchair, watching as I taped her ankles together, and her legs above and below her knees.  I then sat Polly on her lap and taped her legs as well, the girl laughing as I did so.

 

“Now, I’m going to put the television on, and you can watch a film,” I said with a smile, “but before I go and pretend to look in the bedrooms, I need to make sure you stay quiet as well.”

 

They all nodded and waited as one by one, I covered their mouths with strips of the silver tape, Polly resting her head on Zoe’s chest as the other two leaned against their father.  Both David and Zoe nodded as I left the room, after starting the film, and had a look round.  When I went back in, Hannah and Timmy were sleeping as Polly was humming along.

 

“When the film has finished,” I said, “you can try to get free.  I’ll be waiting.”  I then left them, left the house, removed my mask, and walked down a couple of streets to where Steve was waiting.

 

“Have fun?”

 

“I did,” I said with a smile when I got in, “so where now?”

 

“Cross country – my turn to pay a visit…”

 

Brompton is a market town on the A69 between Newcastle and Carlisle – and one we needed to drive through to get to the pub I’d booked Janna and me into for the next overnight stop.

 

But Janna wanted to have a walk round the town, so she dropped me off on the outskirts of the town before she drove in – and I made my way to the Cormack residence, Douglas Cormack being the manager of a bank branch in the town.  He was married, with three daughters – and we both felt they would enjoy some down time together.

 

But Janna had her time this morning, so it was me who walked up the quiet street to the house, wearing a black leather biker jacket and jeans.  As I got closer, I looked round, and then slipped on my gloves, then pulled down the stocking over my head before I let myself in.

 

I could hear giggling from the front room, and looked in while not revealing my presence to see the two younger daughters kneeling on the floor.  The youngest, six year old Doreen, had her light brown hair on her head in a bun, held in place with a white bow ribbon, and she was wearing a long sleeved black and white leopard print top, along with blue jeans that had the legs tucked into short black boots.

 

Eleven year old Caylee also had a white ribbon bow in her blonde hair, and was wearing a denim jacket over a black top, leggings with the same black and white pattern as her sister’s top, and knee length black leather boots.

 

It wasn’t just the clothing that was similar – they were talking to each other, with their wrists crossed behind their backs and held together with lengths of white rope.  Doreen also had her ankles tied together, while the oldest daughter, Gale, was wrapping white rope around and between Caylee’s ankles, the leather compressing underneath.  

 

Gale was not wearing leopard print – instead, she had a white cardigan on, with blue jeans and black laced ankle boots, a black scarf loose round her neck.  She finished binding her sister’s ankles, and then stood up, her dark brown hair falling over her shoulders, and said “right then – why you want to do this, I don’t know, but…”

 

“But it means you have started to play a game you will all join in – well done.”

 

Gale suddenly turned and looked at me, as I saw the grey t-shirt under her cardigan, and the tears in the legs of her jeans, as Doreen and Caylee looked at me.

 

“Hello,” I said with a smile as I came in, “I’ve been hired to play a game of robbers with you all, but I see you beat me to it.  Is this a challenge of some kind?”

 

“Yeah,” Caylee said, “I wanted to see who would get free first – me or Doreen.”

 

“Well, that’s a fine challenge – but I want to make it a challenge for all of you, and if you want, I can how you both how to make it really difficult.  Would you like that?”

 

“Why do you have that over your head?”

 

“So that I look the part,” I said as I looked at Doreen.  “So, shall we play a game?”

 

As they nodded, Gale looked at me, as I took my rucksack off and opened it.  “Well, a real robber would make sure your sister had her arms secured first – do you mind?”  They both shook their heads as I took a length of rope out, and said “put your hands behind your back, Gale.”

 

“Well, I guess we are all going to play,” she said with a smile as I crossed and secured her wrists together behind her back, and then took a longer length of rope from my bag, doubling it over and passing it round her body before I pulled it tight, forcing her arms against her sides above and below her chest.

 

“Oh wow,” Caylee said as she watched, “and you’re going to do that to us?  We really will have to find a way to get free after that.”

 

“Oh yes – you’ll all be the same,” I said as I tied the ropes off, and then indicated Gale should sit down.  “Let me help you both to stand up and face your sister, and then I’ll do the same to your arms.”

 

Both of them grinned as they stood up, watching Gale as I took two longer lengths of rope from my bag, and made sure their arms were tightly secured to their sides.  They giggled as I did this, and then let them sit either side of their older sister while I used more ropes to secure their legs together below their knees as well.  As they both twisted them round, I secured Gale’s legs at her ankles and below her knees, in the same way as the other two.

 

“So what are you three up toohmygodwhat’sgoingonhere?”

 

“We’re playing Robbers, Mummy – the man says you are going to play as well.  Is that right?”

 

“It is – isn’t it Mrs Cormack – or may I call you Moira?”

 

I smiled as I looked at Moira Cormack, staring at her daughters as they twisted round on the couch.  She also had a leopard print motif to some of her clothing – in her case, the leopard print scarf tied loosely round her neck.  That sat on top of her black cardigan, which in turn covered her white top, while her ripped jeans were tucked into knee length black leather boots.  She looked at me, and after a moment said “of course I’ll play – what does the bad robber want to do to me?”

 

“TIE YOU UP!”

 

All three girls were laughing as I walked behind Moira, rope in hand, and brought her wrists round before I started to bind them tightly together with the rope.  “your mother is going to take me to look round the house,” I said over her shoulder as they watched, “but I promise you, when she comes back she will be the same as you for the game.  Before I do that, however, I need to do something to stop all of you raising the alarm when we leave the room.”

 

“What are you going to do,” Gale said, and I could see the worry in her eyes as I started to wrap rope round her mother’s arms and body.

 

“Oh you’ll see…”

 

 

 

 

“So you’re the Games Player?”

 

“That’s right,” I said as Moira sat on her bed, watching as I emptied the contents of her jewellery boxes into my bag, “and it’s making it a game that means the kids don’t get too upset.  I think your oldest daughter understands that as well – but she did a good job of binding their wrists and ankles.”

 

“She did?  Where did she learn that?”

 

“Ask her – when you can,” I said as I put the bag down, and removed from my pocket the roll of brown sticking plaster.  “Right now, let’s go and start the preparations for the escape part of the game.  Put your lips together.”

 

Moira nodded as I pressed the fabric I had torn from the roll down over her mouth, and then we walked back down to the front room.  As we walked in, Doreen said “hhllmhm” through the sticking plaster that covered her mouth, Gale and Caylee nodding in agreement.

 

“Now, I need to make sure none of you can move that easily,” I said, Moira watching as one by one I helped her daughters to lie face down on the floor, pulling their ankles back and tying them to their chest ropes.  Moira then lay face down on the couch, as I crossed and tied her ankles tightly together, then her legs below her knees, and then her ankles to the chest ropes.

 

She rolled over and watched her daughters as I said “first one to get free gets a special surprise,” and left them to begin.  I was confident it would take enough time, as I removed my gloves and mask, put my rucksack on my back, and then walked towards the town centre.

 

 

 

We stayed overnight in Penrith – found a pub to eat in, and then an early night.  We both had visits to pay on the road south the next morning, and we would need an early start…

 

The reason for the early start was because there was one family I wanted to visit who lived in the outskirts of Preston, and for a reason I will explain in due course the game had to start before 9.30 am. Sandra Holborn is a well-known children’s author,  who lived with her husband, daughter and son near to her husband’s place of work, and while I was going to go there, Janna was paying a visit a mile or two away.

 

For reasons that, again, are going to become clear, I was also wearing a very different outfit – a dark suit, and a black shirt with a white band under the collar.  As I approached the detached house, I slipped the gloves on, as well as the stocking mask, and then let myself in, surprising the family as they sat round the breakfast table.

 

“Good morning,” I said as I looked at them, “I hope you’re all ready to play the game of Spies your parents have arranged?”

 

Sandra Holborn was wearing a long sleeved jersey dress, peach coloured, with dark tights and knee length straight black leather boots, her long brown hair held back by an Alice band.  Her husband Steve was wearing a brown checked shirt, blue pants and black shoes, as he put his hand up on his balding head.

 

As for the children, eleven year old Sam was wearing a brown and cream plaid shirt, blue combat pants and trainers.  Eight year old Gloria had an orange band in her light brown hair, and was wearing a fur gilet over a long sleeved blue dress with white spots, her white pants tucked into a pair of mid-calf brown fur boots.

 

“What… What’s going on,” Steve finally said as he looked at me, holding a gun in one gloved hand and a briefcase in the other.

 

“This is the game of Spies you arranged,” I said with a smile, “to help your wife plot out her next book.  The main character is taken hostage with his family by spies, who force his mother to reveal some secrets.  She wanted to get you all involved to see what would happen - isn’t that right Mrs Holborn?”

 

Sandra looked at me, and then at her husband, before she said “that’s right, Steve – remember, I told you last night?”

 

Steve slowly nodded as he said “I remember now – kids, this is all a game, whatever may happen, all right?”

 

“What is going to happen, Mummy,” Gloria said as she looked at me.

 

“Well, the spy has to make sure both the children, and their father, cannot raise the alarm or tell others what is happening until their mother has done what the spies want her to do – but first, you need to make a call, Mister Holborn, and apologise for the fact you will not get to work this morning.  Please, do so – and don’t tell anyone what is happening.”

 

Steve nodded as she slowly stood up and walked into the hallway, while I put the case I had down, opening it and taking out some nylon strips.  “I need to start making sure you two cannot raise the alarm,” I said with a smile, “so your mummy is going to take two of these, and make sure that your wrists stay behind your back.”

 

“Is it going to hurt,” Sam said quietly as I watched Steve make the call, and then put the phone down.

 

“No – if you behave.  Now, Mister Holborn, unplug the telephone, and come in to sit down.”

 

As he did that, Sandra took the strips form my hand, and said “put your hands behind your back, Steve – I’ll do you first, and then Gloria.”  Her son nodded and moved his hands behind his back, Sandra taking a deep breath as she fed the strip through the hasp, and then gently pulled it back as she secured his wrists together behind his back.  She then used the second strip on Gloria, the young girl looking over her shoulder as she said “it feels funny, Mummy.”

 

“I know it does, but we’ll all be the same,” she said as she made sure the strip was tight, and then looked at me.

 

“Good – now do the same to your husband with this strip.”

 

“It’s all right,” Steve said as he turned round and put his own hands behind his back, “as you said, this is all part of the plot you want to act out.”  The kids watched as their mother secured their father’s wrists behind his back, before Gloria said “why are you dressed like Daddy usually is?”

 

“It’s part of the plot your mother suggested – someone pretending to be like your father,” I said with a smile as Sandra pulled the strip through, the rasping sound making both Sam and Gloria laugh as Steve looked at them.  He then turned round and wriggled his fingers, as he said “there – I’m just like you two now.”

 

“Now then,” I said as I picked up the bag, “let’s all go into the front room.  You go first, Mrs Holborn, and draw the curtains – remember, your family are here with me.”

 

“Is it all right that I find this exciting, Dad,” Sam asked, Steve nodding as Sandra went in and closed the curtains, before I brought the family in and invited them to sit down on the couch.  I then handed Sandra some more black strips, and said “now secure their ankles together in the same way as their wrists.”

 

She knelt in front of Gloria and secured her ankles first, the black strip sinking into the soft brown material of her boots as they were forced together.  She giggled, then watched her mother do the same thing to her brother, and then to her husband.

 

As they all wriggled round, I used another tie to secure Sandra’s wrists together behind her back, before I said “now, it is time for me to take the lady of the house to reveal her secrets.  Before I take her, however, I need to make sure none of you can raise the alarm, so I’m going to use some rolled up scarves tied into your mouths to do that.  But, I will put something on for you to watch.”

 

“Can we watch a VegiTales movie,” Sam asked.

 

“That would be good,” Steve said quietly, “Sandra, show him where the disc is, and he can start it before you get – taken to reveal the secrets.”

 

“It’s in there,” Sandra said as she indicated a storage cabinet, and I took out a Blu-ray box with a picture of a cucumber and a tomato on the front.  Putting it into the player, I then took a black scarf from the bag, rolled it up, and said to Steve “open your mouth.”  When he did so, I pulled the scarf between his lips and tied the band round his head, before he looked at Sam and Gloria and said “Lhtthmdhtthsss.  Ghdhswhgfhs.”

 

They both nodded, Sandra watching as I cleave gagged them, and then she said “I’ll join you all later.  Don’t try to get free or raise the alarm – I don’t want any of you to get hurt.”

 

All three of them nodded as I took their mother out of the room, after starting the film for them to watch.  Closing the door, I said “well done Sandra, the children are calm, and your husband is cooperating.”

 

“Who are you,” she whispered, “what do you really want?”

 

“To rob you – and to play a family game.  Now, show me your valuables…”

 

 

When we came back in, Sandra smiled and said “are you enjoying the game so far?”

 

Steve looked from side to side, the kids nodding as I noticed how the rolled up scares were darker at the corners of their mouths.  Sandra took a seat in an armchair, the others watching as I secured her ankles together – and then her legs below her knees.

 

“Mhmmm?”

 

“It’s all right,” Sandra said as I took three more strips out, and secured the legs of each of them together below their knees, and then cleave gagged their mother with another rolled up black scarf.  Smiling, I slipped a second disk from a box with a similar and put it into the player.

 

“Thank you for your cooperation,” I said as I nodded to each of them, “enjoy your morning.”  I started the second film, and then left them, picking up my now heavy bag and removing the stocking mask before I left by the rear door.  Taking my gloves off, I walked round and down the street, passing people as they walked into the local Anglican Church.

 

I just hoped Steve’s assistant was fully prepared, as Janna drew up and I got into the car.  I saw the smile on her face, and said “well?”

 

So while Steve was playing Vicars and Spies, I was visiting a young mother and her ten year old daughter in Blackpool.  Cara Lorenson was the star if one of those daily soaps we have in this country, and she lived on the outskirts of town – towards St Annes – with her ten year old daughter Barbara.

 

I knew at this particular time, she was on a short break from filming, and being a single parent I knew she would be at home, so when I let myself into her kitchen I smiled as I heard the speaking.  I was wearing a grey jumper and pants, with grey gloves – and a grey stocking pulled down over my head, blurring my features.

 

So I wasn’t surprised when the first thing Cara said when she came into the kitchen and saw me was – well, I’m not going to repeat it here, but it was just the sort of language her character would use.  I told her to calm down, as she might scare Barbara – and that made her stop.

 

Well, that and the starting pistol I was holding, as I told her to remain calm – I was going to rob her, but if she pretended this was a game, she and Barbara would be calm and enjoy the time.  Thankfully, she realised what I was saying, but she then said if I would allow her to guide Barbara, she and her daughter would cooperate.  She was wearing a long sleeved grey sports top with a deep V-neck, and blue jeans with the cuffs tucked into black Ugg boots, her brown hair in a bun.

 

Well, I nodded in agreement as I removed my rucksack, and took out a length of white rope, before I asked where Barbara was.  Cara said she was watching television, and she was just fetching some snacks – so I told her to prepare them, and then to put her hands together in prayer in front of her.

 

 

When we walked in the front room, I saw Barbara sitting on the couch, her brown hooded top open over her mustard coloured top, the white panel at her neck, and a brown tartan skirt, with white leggings and brown knee length leather boots.  She looked at her mother, then t me as I put tray down with snacks and drinks on it, and said “Mummy?”

 

“I need to rehearse for an upcoming storyline,” Cara said as she sat with her daughter, Barbara looking at the way her wrists were tied together in front of her, her hands palm to palm, “where I get kidnapped with my niece.  I know I haven’t asked, but would you mind being the niece?”

 

Barbara looked at me, and said “you’re kidnapped by a woman?”

 

“That’s right – so will you take part?”

 

I smiled as Barbara nodded, and then took from my bag a length of white rope as I said “I’m going to tie your wrists together – and then you can both have some snacks and a drink before I take you to my hideout.”

 

“Okay,” Barbara said as she held her hands out, and I bound them tightly together, before I handed her a sandwich on a plate, while Car sat down and took her own plate.  They then had a glass of milk each, while I watched them hold the glass in their hands.

 

Eventually, I said “now, let me take the glasses, and then I want you to stand in front of your aunt – I need to secure your arms a little more before we go to the lair.”

 

“Okay,” Barbara said with a smile as she stood facing Cara, the two of them talking as I took a longer length of rope and wrapped it round the young girl’s upper body, forming one band round her stomach and another round her upper arms as they were held firmly in place, then using two shorter lengths to make them tighter still. 

 

She giggled as I tickled her sides, then sat down as Cara stood up and looked at her.  I did the same to her mother, the bands stretching her top as the top band sat on her bare chest, and then cinched those bands as well.

 

“How does it feel,” she said as she looked at Barbara.

 

“Like you hugging me – will they do this on the show as well?”

 

“I think so,” Cara said with a smile as I tied the last rope off, and then picked up my rucksack.  “All right – do you have a spare bedroom?”

 

“We do,” Barbara said with a smile, “and it’s got a television in it as well.”

 

“Well then, walk in front of me,” I said with a smile as Cara stood up, and she led the way up the stairs to the bedroom.  It certainly did have a television – a large wall mounted one, and I smiled as I told them both to lie on their backs on the bed.

 

As they did so, I took my rucksack off, and started to make sure Barbara would not get off the bed by tying her ankles tightly together, the rope gong around and between her legs.  I then secured her legs together below her knees, Barbara again giggling as I tickled the back of her legs, before I tied one length of rope from her wrists to that band, and another from her ankles to the foot of the bed.

 

“The kidnapper really wants us to stay here,” she said with a laugh as I started to bind Cara’s ankles, the soft material of her boots lightening as the rope went round them.

 

“Yes, I think we will be saying here,” Cara said with a smile as I made sure her legs were secured, then her wrists and her ankles in the same way as her daughter.  I then turned the television on as I found the Disney channel.

 

“Now, I need to send a ransom demand,” I said with a smile, “but first you need to be quiet.”  Taking out a roll of brown fabric sticking plaster, I tore a strip off and smoothed it over Cara’s lips.

 

“Does it hurt Mummy,” Barbara said as she looked at her mother.

 

“Nhhhtshfnn,” Cara mumbled as I said “put your lips together, little girl.”  I then gagged Barbara as well, before I used my own phone to take a picture.

 

“Enjoy the show,” I said as I left them on the bed, and searched the rest of the house.  When I came back in, Barbara was resting her head on her mother’s shoulder, her eyes closed.

 

“I’m going to collect the ransom now,” I whispered into her ear as I stroked her hair from her face, “be brave.”

 

“Fhunkkuhhh,” Cara said as I left the house, walked to the car, and drove off.  Steve and I had one more appointment to keep this weekend…

 

It had been a busy weekend so far – five profitable visits, the results of which were safely hidden in our car – but we had one more visit to make on our way south again, near the beautiful town of Warwick.

 

It’s a well know and underappreciated truth that plumbers are a very well paid profession, especially good ones – and Albert Olmrod was a very good, very well-known one.  In fact, we has used one of his firm to fit a new bathroom for us – and it was while we were researching the firm that we researched his family as well. 

 

The fact he lived just south of Birmingham had been a hindrance up to this point, but given we were doing this long weekend, the opportunity was just too good to pass up on.  And so it was, later on that Sunday afternoon, that Janna and I were sitting in our car, looking at the detached house that sat behind the closed gates.

 

Janna was looking at a family photo in the local paper – Albert and his wife, Andrea – they were a year apart at school, but had been a pair since they were in the sixth form – lower and upper.  There was also the girls – fourteen year old Andi and twelve year old Fiona.

 

We could see the light on in the front room, as we looked at each other, and zipped up the front of our leather jackets before we got out of the car and made our way around the back of the house.  There was a high wall there, but there was also a gate – a gate I managed to unlock as we made our way through, and then around the edge of the large lawn as we made our way to the house – having, of course, put on our gloves and the stocking masks before we started.

 

Pausing outside the side door for a moment, we both took a deep breath before I tried the handle – and found the door was locked.  A lock I managed to unlock fairly quickly, as we both walked in, and while Janna waited I took the pistol we used from time to time out of my pocket.

 

That was the moment that Albert decided to walk in.  He had short brown hair, and was wearing a blue and black striped rugby shirt, blue jeans, black shoes – and a shocked expression on his face when he saw both of us.

 

“Good afternoon Mister Olmrod,” I said with a smile, “thank you for inviting us both to come and play a game of robbers with your family.”

 

“A…  A game?  What…”

 

“As my friend said,” Janna replied with a smile, “a game of Robbers with your family.  Say that, do as we say, everyone stays calm, everyone may have fun.  Do you understand?”

 

“You’re the Games Players?”

 

I nodded as I said “now, where are the rest of your family?”

 

“The girls are in their rooms, my wife is in the front room – why?”

 

“We’ll explain in a moment,” I said as I opened my rucksack, and took out a length of rope as I handed the pistol to Janna.  “First, put your hands behind your back – you can start to play right now…”

 

 

 

As we walked into the room, Andrea Olmrod looked up – and then looked again, before she said “what the…”

 

“It’s all right, dear,” Albert said as we came in, twisting in the bands of rope that held his arms firmly to his sides, “we’re going to play a game of Robbers with the girls, and then we can talk about it later.  Do you understand?”

 

Andrea just stared at us, the book she was reading on her lap on her blue jeans.  She was wearing a purple smock top with a diamond pattern, as well as flat purple shoes.  Janna smiled as she said “you say, we’re going to rob this house, and that means the girls, like you, need to be properly tied and secured – but if they think it is a game, it is less stressful and scary.  So, very slowly, lean forward and put your hands behind your back.”

 

“Once we have your wife secured and silenced,” I said as Albert watched Janna begin to bind his wife’s wrists together behind her back, “you can call the girls down, and they can play as well – and then we can go for a walk round the house.”

 

“Promise me you will not hurt them,” Andrea said as Janna pulled the rope between her wrists, tied the ends off, and then began to wrap a much longer length of rope around her arms and chest, forming two bands that framed her breasts as Albert watched.

 

“You have our word,” Janna said as she continued to bind the older woman, taking the rope under her arms and around the back of her neck as well, before she tied it off as Andrea wriggled round.  Janna then knelt in front of her, and crossed her ankles before she bound them tightly together, and then her legs below her knees.

 

“Now what are you going to do,” Andrea asked as she looked at her bound legs, twisting them from side to side.

 

“Make sure you stay quiet – open your mouth please.”

 

“It’ll be all right,” Albert whispered as he watched Janna fold a large white scarf and push it into his wife’s mouth, and then tear a strip of tape from a white roll and smooth it down over her jaw, the shape of her lips clearly visible under it.  Janna then smiled as I said “call them down.”

 

Albert nodded as we walked to the door, and he called out “Fiona, Andi, will you both come downstairs please?”  We stood by the door as we heard the footsteps come down, before the two girls walked in and saw their bound and gagged mother.

 

Fiona was twelve years old, her long brown hair pulled back and hanging down her back in a ponytail, while fourteen year old Andi had her lighter brown hair loose.  Both of them were wearing dark jeans and short sleeved tops – Andi a cream and orange one with a butterfly pattern, and Fiona a blue one with a floral pattern on it, and both were wearing black shoes.

 

“Daddy,” Fiona said “why are you both like that, and why does Mummy have white tape over her mouth?”

 

“We’re going to play a game of Robbers,” Albert said as Andrea nodded, “and I think we’re all going to be like that in some way.  These are a pair of actors playing the robbers, but as part of the game we need to be tied up and gagged.  Your mother’s already playing, and they’ve started with me – and now, it’s your turn.”

 

“So girls,” Janna said as she took from her bag two pairs of white sports socks, “so that we don’t cause any problems, I’m going to put these over your hands, and then I want you both to turn round and cross your wrists behind your back.”

 

“Daddy?”

 

“It’s all right girls, it doesn’t hurt – just play the game,” Albert said as Janna covered their lower arms, and then took a length of ropes before he crossed Andi’s wrists behind her back, and started to bind them together.  She did the same to Fiona, before she used two longer lengths to secure their arms to their sides.

 

“Now, my friend is going to finish making sure you cannot move or speak, while I take your daddy for a tour of the house,” I said as Janna helped Andrea to kneel on the floor.  Leaving the room, I said “now – shall we start in your office?”

 

 

 

“Lhkkhkhssdhddeee.”

 

“Oh my,” Albert said as he came back in and looked at his family.  Fiona and Andi were sitting back to back on the couch, a band of white tape round their stomachs and arms to make sure they stayed together, their upper bodies secured like their mothers.  Their legs were stretched out in front of them, ankles crossed and bound, and their legs secured together below their knees, while white tape covered their mouths.

 

As for their mother, she was now lying on her stomach on the floor, her ankles bent back and secured to her chest ropes with another length.  She looked up and nodded as I helped Albert to kneel next to her, and then pushed a folded cloth into his mouth before covering it with the white tape.

 

It was simple enough from there – helping him to lie down, I bound his ankles and his legs in the same way as the others, and then pulled his feet back and tied his ankles to his chest ropes as well.  Both girls were laughing as they twisted round, while Janna said “now, we’re going to pretend to go – you can try to get free after a half hour.”

 

And that was how we left them struggling, and went back to our car with a little extra gained from our long weekend…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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