The Games Players – Round Britain
Janna and I were on another vacation, and we were working our way from Land’s End to John O’Groats – spending time visiting places and playing some games with families we had not being in the area of before.
So, while Janna was enjoying visiting some of the sights of Exeter, I was in a nice house in Exmouth, one which looked out over the English Channel. This house belonged to the Carr family, Jonathan Carr being a successful restauranteur, and his wife Lorraine an author. They lived here with their two daughters, eight year old Jessie and five year old Hettie – and it was those two girls who were looking at me now as I stood with their mother.
Lorraine was wearing a classic black dress, with a round neckline and short sleeves that came down to above her knees. She was also wearing dark hose, and a pair of black felt boots on her lower legs. Her ed-brown hair was lightly permed – and right now, her wrists were secured together behind her back with a length of white rope.
“Wow – so we’re going to be the kidnapped doctor and her daughters,” Jessie said as she looked at us. She was wearing a pink short sleeved top with a round neckline like her mother, and a matching knee length skirt, as well as white wool tights and silver sandals. Her hair, like Hettie’s, was pulled back in two pigtails either side of her head.
Her younger sister was wearing a long sleeved white top with a picture of a bear with her eyes closed on the front, a short pink tutu style skirt, and dark pink tights, with a pair of pink Hello Kitty sandals on my feet. She was looking at me, dressed in black with the dark stocking pulled down over my head, before she said, “does Papa know?”
“Yes, he does,” Lorraine said with a smile as she sat down, looking at her daughters. I had taken her by surprise in the kitchen, interrupting the start of her preparing their lunch – which was now in front of them on the low table. “So, I want you to eat up and drink up, and listen to what the man says is going to happen, all right?”
They both nodded as ~I said “in this story, the kidnapper is going to take all three of you to his lair, and make sure you cannot get away until I have what I want. Now, it does mean you won’t be able to move much, or talk much, but your mother will be right there playing with you, so there’s no need to be afraid.”
As they ate, I took a longer length of rope from my rucksack and made sure that Lorraine’s arms were nice and tightly secured to her sides, smiling as I did so. As Jessie watched, she said “so will you do that to us as well?”
“Well, I’m going to tie your wrists in front of you,” I said as I tied the ropes off, “because it will be more comfortable that way, but yes – I’ll do the same to your arms as well. Now then, have you both finished?”
I looked at them as they out their glasses down, and then took two lengths of rope out, giving them each one to hold. “when you’re ready, give me the rope back, and then put your hands together in prayer.”
Lorraine watched as first Jessie, and then Hettie, had their wrists securely tied together in front of themselves, and then I used longer lengths of rope to secure their arms to their sides, in the same way as their mother with one band round their upper arms and another around their stomachs.
“How does it feel girls,” she said as I tied the ropes off behind Hettie. They both wriggled round before Hettie said “it feels tight, Mama, but it’s all right. What now, mister bad man?”
“Now, I have to blindfold you all while I take you all to my lair,” I said as I folded a black silk scarf into a band, and tied it over Jessie’s eyes, then did the same to Hettie. I didn’t blindfold Lorraine however, as I helped the girls to stand and said “now, you stand there for a moment.” As their mother stood in front of Jessie, I tied a rope from her wrists to her daughter’s chest ropes, and then one from Jessie to Hettie.
“Walk when you feel the pull,” I said as Lorraine nodded, and they all walked slowly out of the room, up the stairs with my help, and then into the master bedroom. I was pleased to see there was a very large bed with an iron footrest, as I untied the ropes and then helped the two girls to sit on the bed.
“Now, I’m going to tie your ankles and legs so that you cannot run off,” I said with a smile, “and then I need you to sit nice and quiet with the blindfolds on while I take care of your mother. All right?”
They both nodded as Lorraine said “we’ll be all right, my daughters.” She then watched as I secured Jessie’s ankles together, making sure the rope went around and between her legs, and then secured her legs together below her knees. She started to swing them up and down as I did the same thing to Hettie, and then whispered to Lorraine “show me where your valuables are, and then you can sit between them and talk to them.”
She walked round, showing me where to look, before sitting between the girls and watching as I secured her legs, the rope compressing the black fabric of her boots as I did so. I then left her to talk quietly to the girls as I walked round, selecting what I would be taking before I took out of the trusty rucksack a third back scarf, rolled it into a band and tied a knot in the middle.
“Mummy isn’t going to be able to say much in a minute – and neither will either of you,” I said as I walked over. Lorraine nodded as she said “I’ll see you both in a minute” and then opened her mouth, allowing me to gag her before I lifted Nettie to the other side of the bed, and she lay down, watching as I secured her ankles to the foot of the bed with more rope.
“You’re next, little one – open wide,” I said to Hettie, smiling as she nodded and allowed me to gag her in the same way, and then lay her on her back beside her mother.
“Hmhhhrr,” Lorraine said as I ran some rope from Hettie’s ankles to the foot of the bed, and then made sure Jessie was gagged and secured on the other side of her mother. I then removed their blindfolds, Lorraine kissing each of them on their heads as they looked at her and smiled.
“Now to contact those I need to contact – don’t move, the game is now to see if you can escape after half an hour,” I said as I turned the radio on, and then left them – and the house.
I met up with Janna and we had an evening meal, before retiring for the night – we had a visit in Bristol…
One of the joys of visiting Bristol is the balloon festival, and that was due to start later this week. We were going to miss it, of course, but we were going to have fun at the home of one of the main organisers. The man of the house was going to be busy at the field – but his wife, Sonia Glossop the writer, was going to be home, and our research had shown some things there that may be worth taking…
They had two sons – eleven year old Tom and nine year old Dave – but given the size of their house, both Steve and I felt it would need both of us to play. A wise move, as it turned out…
Their house stood high over the Severn, on its own, and so when Steve and drove to the front door we decided we going to be business visitors – Steve in his dark suit, white shirt and tie, me in a black jacket and skirt with a white camisole underneath. But we both had black leather gloves on our hands, and as we parked outside the house, we both pulled the stockings down over our heads, before we quickly walked up and I rang the front doorbell.
When Sonia opened the door, she was suitably surprised, walking back in as Steve showed her the starting pistol, and I closed the door. Her dark hair was cut short, and she was wearing a white t-shirt with faded jeans, a pair of brown leather boots pulled up to her knees.
“What the… Who are you?” she said after I closed the door.
“Let’s not panic,” Steve said with a smile as he passed me the large case he was carrying, “we’re just here to play a game with you and your family. You understand what we mean, don’t you?”
Sonia nodded slowly as I put the bag down, opened it and took out a length of white rope. “So, don’t shout or do anything to cause you or your sons to panic,” Steve said quietly as I walked behind her and took her hands behind her back, securing her wrists tightly together. “Just tell your sons this is a game…”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I will not lie to my sons – I will tell them the truth, but hey will not panic and they will do what you say.”
“As you wish,” Steve said with a smile as I took the rope between her arms and tied it off. “Where are they?”
“In the front room, watching television.”
Steve nodded as he took Sonia by the arm, and I picked up the bag, before we walked into the room. Tom and Dave were indeed watching television – both of them also wearing white t-shirts and faded jeans, but with black trainers.
“MUM! Are we being robbed?” Tom said as he saw her.
“We are – boys, these are the Games Players – you’ll have heard about them on the television. Just do as they say, and we’ll all talk about it later, all right?”
“Okay,” Dave said as I smiled at them both. “why don’t you come over here,” I said as I opened the bag and took some rope out, “and while your brother closes the curtains, I’ll start to make sure you can’t raise the alarm.”
“Go on, Dave, it’ll be fun,” Tom said as he went to the windows, Dave nodding as he walked over and turned round so that I could tie his wrists together behind his back. Tom then came over and allowed me to do the same to him, while Steve took a longer length of rope from the bag and doubled it over, before he wound it round Sonia’s body and forced her arms against her sides.
“We’re going to be the same, aren’t we,” Dave said as he watched me double another length of rope over and pass it round his brother’s body.”
“yes, you are – you will both stay in here while my friend takes your mother round the house, and then she will come and join you in here,” I said as I pulled the rope tight, tied it off, and then started on Dave.
“Then you can try and escape once we have gone,” Steve said as Sonia watched the ropes tighten round Tom before they both wriggled round and then sat down on the couch. I took some more ropes from the bag, and then made sure they ankles were secured together, as well as their legs below their knees.
“Now then,” Steve said as I stood up, “we need to make sure you can’t raise the alarm, so what do you want to…”
“Sonia – you in the front room?”
I put my finger to my lips as Steve whispered “whoever it is, they are going to play the game, understand” into Sonia’s ear as he stood beside her, before the door to the front room opened and a blonde haired woman walked in, wearing a sleeveless black dress, dark hose and knee length black leather boots. A seven year old girl was holding her hand, her blonde hair in pigtails and wearing a pink sundress with capped sleeves and white hearts printed on the material, as well as white tights and white sandals.
“Mummy, what’s happening? Aunt Sonia?”
Sonia looked at
me and Steve, before she said “we’re playing a game of hostages,
Peggy. This is a surprise though – I didn’t think you were going to call today. Pam?”
The blonde haired older woman was looking at the boys as they wriggled on the couch, before Tom said “yeah – we’re all going to be hostages. Want to play Peggy?”
She looked at her mother, who slowly nodded as she said “does it hurt, being like that?”
“No – the masked lady was very gentle, but we can’t move?” Dave said as I went to the bag and took some rope out.
“Let me show you on your mother,” I said with a smile, Peggy watching as I guided Pam’s hands behind her back and quickly secured her wrists together. As Pam twisted her hands, she nodded and said “it’s tight, but it’s all right. Ready, Peggy?”
“Ready,” the young girl said as I secured her wrists together behind her back, “and we get the rope round our body as well.”
“Of course you do – then you can sit between the boys, and your mum can sit in another seat while your aunt goes for a walk with my friend, all right?”
Peggy nodded as I took a longer rope and made sure her arms were secured to her body as the two boys shifted to either side of the couch, smiling as their cousin sat between them. As I knelt down and secured her legs together, Steve made sure Pam’s arms were secured in the same way as Sonia’s before she sat down in an armchair.
“What’s that funny squeaking noise,” Dan asked as Steve wrapped the rope round his aunt’s ankles.
“Leather and rope,” he said as he looked over and took the rope between Pam’s legs, making the binding tighter before he secured the ends, and then secured her legs together below her knees.
“Mister Robber,” Tom said as he looked at Steve, “you were saying you had to make sure we cannot raise the alarm. How do you do that?”
“With this,” Steve said as he held up a roll of white micropore tape, tore off a strip and walked over to Tom. “Put your lips together for me please.”
The others watched as he pressed the tape down over the young boy’s mouth and chin, the shape of his lips visible underneath as Peggy said “can you speak Tom?”
“Hdhnhh – nhhh,” Tom said as he tried to speak. The tape moving with his lips as Steve tore a second strip off. “ready, Dave?”
The younger boy nodded as Steve tape gagged him, and then walked over to Pam. “Try and stay quiet,” she said before the tape was pressed down over her mouth, and then her daughter was silenced in the same way.
“I’m going to keep them company,” I said, Steve nodding as he took Sonia out of the room, watching all of them as they tried to move and then settling down to watch the television.
When Steve returned a short while later, I saw he had already pressed the white tape down over Sonia’s mouth, the smile there on her lips as she sat in the other armchair and watched him secure her legs in the same way as the others.
“Now then,” he said as he stood up, “we’re going to leave you for a while. Wait thirty minutes, then see who can get free first, all right?”
They all nodded as we left them in the company of Cruella, and made our own way out…
Statement given by Mrs Carmen Monroe, Tamworth
Well, it started when I got home with my daughter Catriona from synagogue – my husband is one of the assistant Rabbis, and as such he always returned home a few hours later than we do.
My husband is also a successful accountant – which makes me wonder if that was why we were targeted…
Anyway, I don’t believe in dressing up on a Friday, so I was wearing a long sleeved white top, jeans and over the knee black fabric boots. Catriona, who is eleven, was wearing a grey long sleeved dress with large white dots on the fabric, dark tights and black leather ankle boots which hugged her foot and leg.
Anyway, we drove into the garage and I turned the engine off, heading for the door that led into the kitchen while Catriona went to press a button that closed the garage door. I unlocked the door, walked in – and saw that the other door that led out into the garden was open.
A moment later, I saw someone else was in the room. He was a little taller than me – maybe six foot tall – and slim, wearing a black sweater and leather jacket, pants, shoes, gloves – and a black stocking over his head, ticked into the collar of the jumper.
He was pointing what looked like a gun to me, as he told me in a clam, quiet voice to sit down, with my hands where he could see them. I was watching the garage door, as Catriona came in, saw the man, and said “Mum?”
“Welcome, Catriona,” the man said as he smiled, “I’m here to play a special game with you and your mother – I promise you, it will be fun.”
“What sort of game,” my daughter asked quietly.
“Home Invasion – I’m pretending to be a robber, who is going to make sure you cannot stop me stealing things. But, like I said, it is a game, even if it is realistic. Isn’t that right?” He looked at me as he said this, and I nodded before saying “that’s right – we can pray together as part of the game, and when Poppa gets back we can tell him all about it.”
Catriona nodded as she said “can I have a drink first?”
“Of course - while you do that, I will make sure your mum starts to play.” He put the gun down and stood up, opening a rucksack and taking out a length of white cord while Catriona went to the fridge. “Put your hands behind your back, slowly,” he whispered into my ear, and I felt him wrap the rope round my wrists before he forced them together.
Catriona sat back down, sipping from her glass as she watched him secure my wrists together, and then she put the glass down and came to have a look at what he had done. “That looks tight – does it hurt Mum,” she asked, but I shook my head. IT actually did not hurt - but it was tight.
The masked man then asked Catriona to watch as he doubled over a longer length of rope, and then wrapped it round my body, pulling it tight under my chest. That had several effects – it forced my arms against my sides, it stretched my top over my breasts, and it made Catriona’s eyes open wide as she watched him form two bands that held my upper body tightly secured.
“It’s your turn now, Catriona,” the man said as he took more ropes from his rucksack, “after all, the daughter has to be secured so that the mother behaves as well. Kindly put your hands behind your back.”
I watched my daughter as he proceeded to bind her – she had a strange expression in her eye as he secured her wrists, as if she was feeling something new. I admit, that was something I was experiencing to some extent as well – we had never been robbed, never mind tied up, and it was different. She then grunted a littler as he passed the rope round her body and secured her arms to her sides, forming the same two bands as he had on me. I could feel the way the ropes were rubbing on me – and I did wonder how it felt to Catriona as her arms were forced into her sides, and then the ropes tied off behind her.
“Now then,” the man said as he picked his rucksack up, and slipped the gun back inside, “why don’t we go into the front room – I want you both to sit down while I make sure the curtains are closed.”
We walked in front of him, and sat down as he made his way around the side of the room, and made sure the curtains were closed without been seen by anybody outside. As he did, Catriona said to me quietly “is it a real robbery Mum?” I nodded, and she said “well, it’s not as scary if we treat it as a game, is it?” she was right about that, as he came back over and knelt in front of her, taking more rope from his rucksack and doubling it over before he wrapped it round her ankles and pulled tight.
I watched as he wound it round her legs several times, and then separated the ends and took them between her legs before tying the ends off. It was neat, and when he was done my daughter could only move her feet to and fro, with a quiet little squeaking sound.
another, longer length to tie her legs together below her knees, using the same
technique before he stroked her hair and said “now, you need to stay here while
I take your mum for a walk. Are you
going to be a good girl and stay quiet
I was so proud of Catriona when she nodded, and he said “good – I’m trusting you” and helped me to stand up before turning the television on. He then escorted me to my bedroom, and I showed him where to find the items that I have listed as stolen. We talked the whole time - he was polite, and I think he did it to put me more at ease as well.
When he was done, we went round the other rooms, including my husband’s office where he managed to open the safe and take some other things. He then took from his bag a black scarf, rolled it into a band and tied a double knot in the middle – a knot he eased between my teeth and into my mouth, before tying the band tightly around my head so that I could only mumble something semi-intelligible.
That, at least, Made Catriona laugh when we came back into the main room – before he used a second scarf to gag her as well. He then secured my ankles and legs in the same way as hers, the rope sinking into the soft black fabric of my boots as it seemed to lighten under the tight bands.
As a finishing touch he helped Catriona to lie on her side, her head on my lap, and then tied ropes from my legs to her legs so that we could not move apart. He had already unplugged the man phone, turned off the router and taken our mobile phones as well – so all we could do was stay there, until my husband came home about an hour and a half after he left…
York is such a beautiful place, and the outskirts seem like the countryside in the right area, such as near the university. This was where a family Janna and I had studied for some time lived – the father, Gerald, was a lecturer at the university, and his wife Carol a well-known cook on television. They had three kids – Toby who was eleven, Rose who was ten, and eight year old Ron. And this was one of those rare occasions when the whole family got to play a game with us…
It was mid-afternoon when we approached the detached house they lived in, dressed in our usual manner – me a black jumper and pants, with trainers, and Janna a jumper and leggings with knee length black leather boots. There was no sign of anyone else on their road as we drove past, and pulled into a side road. Janna stepped out and checked the parking fees, as I got out and put the rucksack on my back.
The side road had a service road for the back of the house, and we used the gate to their rear garden to let ourselves in, making sure we had our gloves on and the stocking masks pulled down over our heads before we did so.
The garden was empty, so we made our way to the back door, Janna waiting as I looked in. I could see Gerald in the kitchen, washing the dishes from their lunch. He was wearing a blue shirt and grey pants with matching loafers – but when he heard the door open and turned to look at us as we came in, his eyes had the same expression as so many mothers did.
“What the… Who are you?”
“We’re the Games Players,” Janna said with a smile as I closed the door, “what does that say to you?”
Well, he certainly understood what that meant, as he said “please, not the kids…”
“Ah, but they are the reason we can do what we do,” I said as I looked at him, “so I need you and your wife to pretend that this is a family game, understood?”
He slowly nodded as I said “so where are they?”
“In the front room…”
Janna smiled as she said “well, you go first, and tell them what is happening.” Gerald led the way as we walked into the front room, Carol looking round as we walked in and said “oh no…”
“Hey,” Gerald said as he looked at the children, “your mother and I have a surprise for you. A game of hostages and escape – with the help of these two here. Isn’t that right, dear?”
Carol could only nod as she looked at us. She was wearing a cream short sleeved dress with a floral print on it, her long red-brown hair falling on her shoulders, and a pair of cream coloured summer leather boots that came to her knees, the upper part cut with a lace pattern.
Janna smiled as she looked at the three children – Toby and Ron were wearing white t-shirts, blue jeans and trainers, Toby with a yellow hooded top over his t-shirt, while Rose was wearing a pin short sleeved top and a short denim skirt, brown tights with white flowers printed on them, and black shoes.
“So they are taking us hostage for a game – really,” Ron said as he looked at us.
“That’s right – you will all be the same, and it does mean you won’t be able to talk or move for a while, but you can all try and help each other to get free,” Janna said with a smile.
“How are you going to stop us moving,” Toby said quietly.
“Well, why don’t you hold these,” I said as I opened my rucksack, took some lengths out and gave them to the children to hold. “I’m going to use another length on your father, while my friend does the same to your mother. Then it will be your turn.”
I handed a length of rope to Janna, who walked behind Carol as I guided Gerald’s hands behind his back, doubling the rope over before I secured his wrists together. The boys watched him while Rose stood up and walked next to Janna, watching what she did.
“Does it hurt, Mummy,” she asked, her finger in her mouth as Janna took the rope between Carol’s arms.
“No honey – it just feels tight, but it does not hurt,” Carol said with a smile as I secured Gerald’s wrists together, and then said “sit down in the seat. Will you take care of young Rose, my dear, and I will take care of the boys?”
Janna nodded as she took the rope from Rose and said “ready?” The little girl nodded as she put her hands behind her back, while I asked the boys to stand facing their father, Carol watching as I secured their wrists together behind their back with the ropes as well.
As I secured the rope behind Ron’s back, Gerald said “how does it feel boys?”
“Like we have a band round our wrists,” Toby said as he twisted round, “so what’s going to happen next?”
“Well,” Janna said with a smile, “we need to make sure none of you can walk round – except for your father. So, you three sit on the couch, and I will do the same to your ankles and legs as I did to your wrists – and then my friend here is going to tell you what happens next.”
“Why not to Daddy,” Rose asked as she sat between the boys, her feet hanging over the edge.
“Well, he’s going to show me round the house,” I said, “but don’t worry – he will be just the same as all of you before the main part of the game begins.” The parents watched as Janna took two lengths of rope, and knelt down, crossing Rose’s ankles before she bound them tightly together, and then tying her legs together below her knees, each band tightly cinched. She did the same to the boys, as they all wriggled round, and then secured Carol’s ankles and legs together as well.
“Look Mum,” Ron said as he moved his legs from side to side, “we really can’t walk now.”
“That’s the idea,” I said with a smile as Gerald looked at Carol, her boots squeaking as she twisted her legs round. “Yes, it’s true,” she finally said with a smile.
“Can I sit with Mummy?”
“Of course you can – but I need to do something to you and her first,” Janna said as he took a longer length of rope from the bag, and passed it round the young girl’s upper body, forcing her arms to her sides as she formed two bands around her stomach and upper arms. Tying the rope off behind her, she took a still longer length and secured Carol’s arms to her sides, the bands stretching her dress slightly before it was tied off behind her.
Janna then lifted Rose onto her mother’s lap, the girl smiling as her legs hung to the side and she rested her head on Carol’s chest.
“Now for you two,” I said as I looked at Toby and Ron, “can you sit back to back on the couch and stretch your legs out?” As they did, I took more ropes out and secured their upper arms to their bodies, before securing them together round their waists.
“Now,” I said with a smile, “I’m going to take Dad here for a walk, but my friend is going to stay here with you – and before your dad comes back, you will all be ready to play the escape part of the game.”
“Good luck,” Carol said as I helped Gerald to stand up.
“Are you all enjoying the game,” he said, all three of the children nodding as he said “well, do what the masked lady says – I’ll be back in a little while.”
“Very well done,” I said in a quiet voice as I escorted Gerald from the room, “now, your bedroom, if you please…”
When we returned a short while later, Rose looked over and said “Chnnuhhrmhdhhddee?” We could both see her lips moving under the white tape which was stretched over her mouth and jaw – and he could see his sons and wife had the same tape over their mouths as well.
“Not very well,” Gerald said as I sat him down, and took more ropes to secure his arms to his upper body. “What did she do to you?”
“Thhphffrhchlf” Toby said, Ron nodding as he looked at his mother.
“Uhllbhthshmm,” she said as she rubbed her cheek on Rose’s head, Gerald nodding as I knelt down and crossed his ankles, before I started to secure them together as well. His legs below the knees were next, while Janna folded a white cotton cloth and said “open your mouth please – time for you to be quiet.”
“Htfhlhssfhnhee,” Ron said as she pushed the cloth into Gerald’s mouth, and then waited as he closed his lips together before covering them with a long strip of the white tape.
“Dhhshnlhkunh,” he said, the others nodding as I tied the rope between his legs, and then stood up.
“Well, they are all our hostages now,” I said with a smile, “so my friend and I are going to have a drink. You’ll hear a bell in half an hour – then you can try and escape, but not before, all right?”
They all nodded as we walked out, Janna nodding as she saw the full bag of things we were taking. I made sure the phone was disconnected, and then we made our way out of the front door after we removed our masks. We wanted to get to the North East coast next…
There have been times, when playing the games, that the stuffed toys and teddy bears have played a part in proceedings. Our friend Jay Edwards tells one story of a family that all insisted their dolls be tied up with the girls, and there have been other occasions. The afternoon I spent in Cullercoats, however – that was different.
Steve was visiting some old friends, but Roberta Dean was a familiar face in the newspapers as an actress, who lived in the town with her partner Carol, and their two daughters, Margo who was ten and five year old Alex. We had studied what we could about them, and this particular afternoon I was waiting outside their house for the right opportunity to go in.
That presented itself when I saw the Skoda Octavio come onto the driveway, and Roberta got out. She had long dark brown hair, and was wearing a blue wool dress with a deep neckline, a red sash tied round her waist. She was also wearing dark wool tights and knee length black leather boots.
She opened the rear door, and a few minutes later helped Alex to get out. She had short cut dark hair, and was wearing a red jumper and blue jeans with black ankle boots. The little girl held her hand as they walked to the front door and went in - and I noticed it was not quite closed.
The perfect opportunity, as I walked quickly over, putting on the gloves and pulling the stocking down over my head as I let myself in, and quietly closed the door behind myself. I could hear some laughter in the front room, so I moved silently along and peeked in.
Alex was playing with a large pink teddy bear, laughing and smiling as she hugged it and cuddled it, while there was no sign of Roberta. I could hear noise from the next room, however, so I moved along and saw her typing on a laptop in the back room. I slipped into the room and closed the door to, waiting until she looked round and saw me, then looked back at the laptop.
Then she looked again at me, as she whispered “oh my god – The Games Player?”
“One of them,” I said with a smile, “so I am hoping you know that if you play along, nobody gets hurt. Is that a fair assumption?” As Roberta nodded, she said “so we are going to be tied up and gagged? Allow me to make a suggestion, and let me tell Alex about it…”
Fifteen minutes later, we both walked into the front room as Alex looked over. I had already secured Roberta’s wrists together behind her back, and used ropes above and below her chest to secure her arms to her sides.
“Mummy – what’s going on?”
“I’ve asked a friend to help me with a new story,” Roberta said with a smile, “where a family is held hostage for the day. She’s already made sure I can’t use my arms – and she’s going to stop me from walking in a few minutes.
“And then she is going to do the same with you – and Poopie.”
Alex looked at the giant bear, and said “Poopie won’t be able to move either?”
“no – because he is going to be like us, and keeping your safe,” Roberta said, “watch what the woman does to me.”
She sat down on the couch, Alex watching as I took more ropes from my rucksack, and secured her ankles tightly together, as well as her legs below her knees, the leather squeaking as her legs were forced together. Alex giggled as she said “that sounds funny…”
“Yes it does,” I said with a smile as I pulled the rope between Roberta’s legs and tied the ends off, “and now it’s your turn. I want you to sit in front of Poopie, and stretch your legs out.”
“It doesn’t hurt,” Roberta said as Alex stretched her legs out, watching as I doubled some rope over and then bound her ankles tightly together. She was fascinated at the way it looked over her boots, before I cinched the binding and tied the ends off, before using a second length of rope to tie her legs together below her knees.
“Now then,” I said with a smile, “I want you to put your hands together in prayer – I will use some more rope to tie them together, and then tie them to your legs, before I make sure your arms stay by your side – and then it is Poopie’s turn.”
“Okay,” Alex said, smiling as she put her hands together palm to palm, Roberta watching as I secured her wrists together with the rope, and then lowered her hands down and tied the ends to the rope below her knees. Another length of rope went round her upper arms, holding them to her sides before I made sure the teddy bear’s legs were either side of her, and the arms round her before more rope went round both of them at Alex’s waist.
“There,” I said as I tied the rope off, “he’s keeping you safe while you are a hostage, and…”
“Oh my – what are you doing to Mum and Alex?”
I smiled as I saw Margo standing in the doorway, looking at Roberta and Alex. The older girl was wearing a leopard print jacket over a shift skirt, cream with chocolate brown side panels, and a pair of knee length black leather boots with metal buckles at the side.
“We’re acting out a hostage scenario,” Roberta said with a smile, “where is Carol?”
“Mummy will be back in a little while,” Margo said, “so are we going to do this as well?”
“Of course,” I said as I looked round, “does the white bear have a name?”
“Humpty,” Margo said as she looked at the equally large white bear in the corner.
“Well then,” I said with a smile, “bring Humpty over – and you can be just like Alex here. All right?”
“Come in the front room, Mummy – we’re all playing a scenario out for Mum.”
“Oh – what sort of…” Carol stopped as she came in, looking at her daughters as they sat on the floor, the arms of the teddy bears keeping them safe as they wriggled round. She could see the ropes holding them there, as she heard Roberta say “I guess you’ll have to take part as well.”
“You did this,” Carol said as she looked at me. She was wearing a green dress with a cream edge to the skirt, and camel coloured leather ankle boots.
“I did – it’s all a game for the kids and for you,” I said with a smile as I held up some rope, “so you should play as well. Girls, your mothers will be the same, just as you are the same - all right?”
They both nodded as I walked behind Carol and guided her hands behind her back, securing them tightly together before I used a longer length to secure her arms to her sides. The bands framed her chest, as Margo said “It’s nice and snug, Mum.”
“Yes it is,” Carol said as she sat down next to Roberta, the younger girls watching as I made sure her ankles and legs were secured snugly together in the same way as her partner. She shook her head, her long brown hair falling loosely, as I said “now, you can talk to each other, because I will have the mobile phones and I have disconnected the internet and other phone. Stay right there.”
I left them to talk while I looked round the rest of the house, making sure I took some nice things, before I came in and said “now, the bad woman has to stop you all from talking – including Poopie and Humpty.” I held up a roll of duct tape, and tore several long strips off to cover the mouths of the two teddy bears.
“Poopie and Humpty can’t talk,” Alex said as she looked round, and then at Morag.
Both girls looked at Roberta as she tried to talk, the tape pressed firmly down over her mouth as I stood in front of Carol. They didn’t see me push the folded cloth into her mouth, before I tore more strips of tape off and smoothed them down over her mouth.
“Your turn – just stay nice and still,” I said as I tape gagged the two girls, and then looked at all four of them.
“I will be nearby – so don’t try to escape,” I said with a smile, leaving them to enjoy the time together as Carol and Roberta kissed each other with their taped lips…
So, who is new to the board today?
Hi – my name’s Meg, and I’m from a town called Linlithgow.
Welcome Meg – tell us something about who you are, and where you come from.
Well, I’m eleven years old, and I live with my Mum and Dad on the outskirts of the town, north of the Union Canal. My Aunt Fiona lives a few doors away with my cousin Bobby – he’s seven, and a pest. We both go to Linlithgow Primary School – and yesterday, we met The Games Player.
We all have at least once Meg – so what happened?
Well, Dad was at work at the local bank, so Mum took me to have some fun at the Peel – it’s a big park that surrounds the Palace in our town – and then to do some shopping at Tesco. Mum was wearing a black and fawn V-necked sweater, and jeans with legs tucked into knee length black boots.
And what were you wearing, Meg?
I had on a striped summer dress with short sleeves, white tights and my own knee length black boots. I also had a clasp in my hair, striped like my dress…
Anyway, we came back from shopping, and Mum asked me to take some of the shopping bags into the kitchen. This was at about four o’clock. I took the bags in, put them down, turned round – and there he was, standing with Mum. A big man dressed in black and with that stocking mask over his head.
So did he say he wanted you to play a game?
Actually, no – not at first. Mum told me to sit down, as she put her hair through her light brown hair, and told me this man had come to rob us, and that we were both going to be tied up and stopped from raising the alarm. I guess she thought I was old enough to understand what was happening.
I looked at him, and asked if it was going to hurt. He smiled, and said it wouldn’t hurt, before he opened his rucksack and took a length of rope to me to hold.
How did it feel to you?
It felt soft, and thin – I did wonder what he was going to do, when he took a second length of rope out, and told Mum to put her hands behind her back. She kept talking to me, telling me we would be fine as he did something to her, and then he took the rope from me and told me to put my hands behind my back.
He was wearing black leather gloves, and I felt him crossing my wrists before the rope rubbed on them as he tied them together. He was right – it didn’t really hurt, but I could feel it getting tighter – and when he was done, I really could not move my hands apart.
The Player then said he was going to make sure we really could not move our arms – and that was when we heard Aunt Fiona call out.
That must have been a shock.
It was – and that was when Mum whispered to me that if Bobby was with her, we would have to pretend it was a game, and make sure they played as well.
Let me guess – they both came into the kitchen.
<Nodding Emoji> Got it in one – they both came in, Aunt Fiona putting her hands to her mouth when she saw the three of us. She was wearing a black dress with a wide shiny belt, dark tights and shiny black leather boots with a thin heel and laces up the front, her long blonde hair over her shoulders.
As for Bobby, he was wearing a blue jacket over a white shirt, a purple tie round his neck, dark trousers with a pale cuff, and black shoes. I remembered they had gone to a party for a friend of Aunt Fiona’s that day.
Mum looked at them, and smiled as she said she was surprised to see them – we were playing a special game of Robbers with the actor she had hired, and now that they were there, then they could play a swell.
I nodded in agreement as Aunt Fiona looked at us, and then told Bobby they were going to play as well.
Did he seem excited?
Well, as Mum and Aunt Fiona talked, he walked round and looked behind me, and then he asked the Player how he had done that to my wrists. He smiled, took out another length of rope, and said he would show Bobby if he wanted him to do it for him as well.
So when Aunt Fiona saw the Player tying my cousin’s wrists behind his back, she nodded and said they would play as well. I knew I had to pretend IO thought it was a game as well, so when Bobby turned round and showed me his wrists, I saw the bands around and between his arms.
“It doesn’t hurt, does it,” I said, Bobby shaking his head as the Player walked behind Aunt Fiona and tied her wrists behind her back as well. He then took some longer lengths of rope from the rucksack he had, doubled one over, and passed it round Aunt Fiona’s body, pulling it tight under her chest.
That’s one of the best bits, when he really makes sure you cannot do more than twist your body round.
Well, Aunt Fiona was watching us as he did it, but I could not take my eyes away as he took the rope round her again and again, making two bands that pressed her arms against her sides. Mum then stood up as he doubled over another length of rope, and did the same to her as Bobby watched as well.
“Coo – how does that feel,” he said as he looked at me, and then at Mum.
“I think we’re going to find out,” I said with a smile as the Player picked another length from the table, Mum and Aunt Fiona sitting down and watching as I stood up next to Bobby. IT did feel different as he took the rope round me, but as he made more and layers to the two bands, I realised it actually felt – nice.
Snug and comfortable, right?
Right – I felt him doing something behind me to tie it off, and then he did the same to Bobby, so that his jacket opened up a bit, the bands of rope keeping his tie against his shirt.
“I can’t move, Mummy,” he said when the Player tied the rope behind him, and he walked over, putting his head against Aunt Fiona as she kissed him.
“Now,” the Player said, “let’s all go into the front room, and we can turn the television on for the younger ones to watch.
“Will you tie our legs as well, Mister Robber?” I asked to keep the feeling of a game going.
“Yes, I will – come on.”
We all followed him in, Bobby and me pushing ourselves onto one couch as Mum and Aunt Fiona sat on the other one while the Player pulled the curtains closed. “I need to take your mother for a walk round the house,” he said as he looked at me, “so it’s just the three of you for the moment. Don’t worry – when we come back, she will be just like you.”
I nodded as Bobby and me watched him kneel in front of Aunt Fiona, crossing her ankles and then using rope to make sure they stayed together. I saw what he had done to our wrists – doubled the rope over, wrapped it round her ankles and pulled the ends through that centre loop, and then taking it neatly round her legs several times before taking it between her legs, then tying it off.
He did the same to her legs, below her knees as she talked to Mum, and tied that off before he took some more rope from his bag, and came over to us.
Did he do you or your cousin first?
Bobby first – I watched as he took the rope under his legs and tied them together first below his knees, and then tied his ankles together side by side. I was looking at Mum as she twisted round, and then I felt my own ankles being crossed, and then tied together.
Why do you think he crossed your ankles, and not your cousin’s?
I wasn’t sure at first – I realises later, when he and Mum left the room, that while Bobby was sat so that his feet hung over the seat, I could possibly have got off – so I figured he did it to make that more difficult for me. You know what the funny thing was though?
Yeah – the squeaky noise as my ankles were tied together, and the rope rubbed on my leather boots. He tied my legs together over my tights below my knees, but when he was done I tried to move – and my boots rubbing together made the squeak.
Aunt Fiona also tried to move her legs, her boots squeaking as well as the Player stood up, and then folded a cloth which he pushed into my mouth, then Bobby’s and finally Aunt Fiona’s. He told us not to spit them out, and he would bring a drink later, as he helped Mum to stand up and they left the room.
You played along, right?
Both me and Aunt Fiona – we tried talking to each other, Bobby giggling as we did so, and we twisted round, but we all stayed where we were. Bobby and I nudged each other, but we were too tightly tied to do anything more than that.
A little while later, Mum came back with the Player, with two glasses of squash. He took the cloth form our mouth – I was surprised to see how wet it was – and then let us both have a drink while Mum sat down.
He then took some more ropes, and told Mum to cross her ankles before he tied them together, and then her legs below her knees. I wondered if he was going to offer Aunt Fiona a drink – but instead, he put a folded cloth in Mum’s mouth, and then he took something else from the rucksack.
The special tape?
Yes – a roll of white tape, which he peeled a length from and then pressed it down over Mum’s mouth. As he did the same to Aunt Fiona, I saw the shape of Mum’s lips under the covering on her chin, and when she tried to talk, all she could do was mumble.
Bobby thought that was cool, especially when Aunt Fiona did the same as Mum.
And then it was your turn?
It was – he let me have another drink, and then put the damp cloth back into my mouth before he took a strip of tape from the roll, and pressed it down over my mouth and chin. It felt – nice, but I really could not say anything when he was done.
Bobby then had the same thing happen to him, Mum and Aunt Fiona nodding as we looked over, before he turned the television on and put some cartoons on for us to watch. He said we had to wait an hour, then try and get free if we could and come to the kitchen.
And did you get free?
Not a chance – Dad got home at about seven to find us all exactly the same, and the Player had gone with Mum’s nice things. We had to tell the police, but I have to admit – it was exciting!
Welcome to the group Meg – who’s next?
So we had made it to Aberdeen, and we were looking forward to the drive home with an overnight stop. We had to meet someone there – but first, we needed to make sure we had everything we were going to exchange, which is why on a grey Saturday afternoon we were parked outside an end of terrace house, looking out as the light drizzle hit the windscreen.
Janna smiled as the front door opened, and a young girl came out, opening up a large candy striped umbrella to protect her before she walked past the car. She was twelve years old, wearing a grey hoodie and dark blue jeans, the legs tucked into a pair of red high wellington boots.
This particular lady was Agnes Humber, whose mother Daphne was a well known authoress of the genre know as “Young Adventure.” She had been the subject of a feature in a Sunday paper when we started on the journey, and we both felt it was a fitting way to wind up our holiday.
As she turned the corner at the end of the road, we both got out and walked up to the front door of the house. We were both dressed in black, including the gloves, and the stockings we pulled down over our heads before we opened the door and walked in.
You’ve got to love the trust in the North of Scotland.
We could hear someone talking to the rear of the house, but as e walked past the front room Janna glanced in, and then motioned for me to look. As I did so, I saw a nine year old boy sitting there, wearing a blue shirt and black jeans with dark grey trainers, strumming on a guitar.
Here’s the thing – Daphne and Agnes were meant to live on their own in the house. So we looked at each other, and then walked into the room as Janna said “hi there – who are you?”
The boy stopped and looked at us, his eyes wide as I said “don’t be afraid – we’re here to play a surprise game with Agnes, but we didn’t think anyone else was home. Who are you?”
“I’m Steve – my mum is Mrs Humber’s agent,” he said quietly, “why are you wearing masks?”
“Well, it’s part of the game,” I said quietly as I sat next to him, “but you and your mother are here – so I think you should play as well. What do you say?”
“What’s the game?”
“Robbers,” Janna said with a smile as she took her rucksack off, and took a length of rope out, “and a game of escape later. So – if you want to play, put your hands behind your back…”
“Hllhmhm, lhkkhtmh,” Steve said as he walked into the office in front of me and Janna. His muffled voice was entirely down to the black tape that covered his mouth, and the sponge ball Janna had gently pushed into his mouth behind that. She had also tied his wrists together behind his back, and there were bands of rope round his arms and upper body to hold them in place.
I smiled as I looked at Daphne Humber and Steve’s mother, who were sat talking. Daphne was wearing a long sleeved dark blue denim blouse, her blonde hair brushing over her shoulders, and faded jeans which were tucked into a pair of knee length chocolate brown leather boots.
As for Steve’s mother, she was wearing a purple dress with a deep round neckline, and knee length fawn leather riding style boots. “Steve,” she whispered before she looked at Janna and said “what have you done? Who are you?”
“Me? I told Steve we were here to play a surprise game of Hostages with Daphne and her daughter,” she said with a smile, “and he wanted to play as well. He wants you to play as well, don’t you Steve?”
As her son nodded, Daphne whispered “oh my… You’re the Games Players, aren’t you?” As I nodded, she said “Carol – I’m sorry, but we need to play along as well, all right?”
“I’m so glad you said that,” I replied as we both took rope out of our rucksacks, “so why don’t we start playing now. I want you both to put your hands behind your backs – I think Steve wants you to be tied like him, don’t you Steve?”
The young boy nodded as I went behind Daphne, and Janna went behind Carol, and we made sure they both had their wrists secured snugly together behind their backs, the knot well out of reach of their fingers. We both then took longer skeins of rope out, shook them loose and doubled them over, and got to work securing their upper bodies.
I happened to glance over as I pulled the rope tight around Carol, and saw the way he was looking at her as her arms were for4ced into her sides, and her chest was forced up and out by the increasing tension in the bands. He was fascinated – understandably, as I heard Daphne say “what are you going to do when Agnes comes back?”
“The same – and when we have taken you all hostage, you can all watch and sing along to something before you try to escape,” Janna said in reply as she fed the rope under the lower band round her arms, and pulled it up before she took it round the back of her neck.
“Steve – are you all right,” Carol said as I did the same to her, her son slowly nodding as she watched him twist round.
“Now, because we need to tell Agnes about the game when she gest back, you get to keep talking for a while,” I said as I looked at Daphne, “but your agent – she needs to open her mouth.”
“We’ll talk later,” Carol said before I pushed the compressed sponge ball into her mouth, waiting until she closed her lips over it before I tore strips from a roll of black tape and smoothed them down over her mouth.
“Let’s go back into the front room,” Janna said as he took Steve by the arm, guiding him out as Carol and Daphne stood up and walked with me. In the front room, Steve sat back down on the couch as Janna indicated Carol should sit next to him. I stayed with Daphne as she took four more lengths of rope from her rucksack, and used one of them to bind Steve’s ankles tightly together, and then his legs below his knees.
She then moved over and crossed Carol’s ankles before she secured them together, Steve watching as she took the rope round and between her leather covered limbs. He was panting slightly as he wriggled round, and I for one could see what watching this was doing to him.
As Janna secured his mother’s legs together below her knees, He rubbed his head on her arm, Carol nodding before she pressed her taped lips on his head. Janna could see what I could see now, but said nothing as she sat down.
“My friend is going to keep an eye on you,” I said as I stood with Daphne, “and if Agnes gets back before we come back, then she’ll make sure she is just as snugly tied as both of you.”
“Whhrhhughnn,” Carol mumbled through the tape.
“Just to make sure the house is secure,” I said as I guided her out, and disconnected the phone, before we walked up the stairs. We went into the main room, and as I searched through her jewellery boxes we both heard the front door open and close.
“MUM! Are you in…? What the…”
“Hello Agnes – we’re all playing a game…”
Daphne actually groaned when she heard Janna, but I just smiled and said “there – you can all play along now. So, where is your safe?”
When we walked back into the front room, Daphne said “I see the woman has you playing as well, Agnes. Don’t worry – I’m going to join you.”
Agnes looked back and nodded as she tried to move her legs – but Janna had made sure she could not as she lay on the floor, facing the television. The young girl had her wrists bound tightly together behind her back, and ropes holding her arms to her sides, while Janna had bound her ankles tightly together side by side and then her legs below her knees.
But she had also pulled her ankles back and secured them to her chest ropes, in a hogtie, as Steve watched her twist round. I could see the bulge in his pants had got larger, as I helped Daphne to lie on her stomach next to her daughter, and took some ropes from my bag before I crossed and bound her ankles tightly together.
“Whrrghnnhwhshghsphl,” Agnes mumbled through the tape.
“Godspell? Fair enough,” Daphne said as I pulled the rope between her legs and tied it off, then secured her legs together below her knees and pulled her ankles back as well.
“Hmshreemhmm,” he said as he blushed, and then lay down with his head on her lap, watching as I pushed the sponge ball into Daphne’s mouth and then covered her lips with the tape. Satisfied, I nodded to Janna as she turned the television on, and the film of a man walking down a street in New York came on.
“Remember – you can try to escape when the film is finished,” I said as the women wriggled round, their boots squeaking as they did so while Steve watched them. We stayed and watched for a while, before we quietly slipped out.
After all, we had an appointment to keep…