The Games Players at the Garden Party
Janna and I recently spent a very special Sunday afternoon with three families as they celebrated a true achievement in fund raising – an achievement which was fully reported in the papers, and allowed the two of us to lay appropriate plans. Admittedly, it was only meant to be one family, but – well, let me begin at the beginning.
Hope Shaw is the leader of a campaign group for disabled rights in a certain town, and she has two daughters, ten year old Tabitha and seven year old Samantha. She herself was crippled as the result of a car accident, which sadly had taken her husband’s life two years previously – so the family now live in a large bungalow on the outskirts of the town.
It was a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago when Janna and I pulled up outside the house, and checked our own supplies in our rucksacks. Our baby was with Janna’s parents for the day, so we knew she was been well cared for – and we knew we were ready to give the two girls an afternoon they would not forget.
Oh how true that turned out to be…
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself – we looked at each other and then nodded as we got out of the car and walked up to the side of the house. For the visit, we both had on black leather jackets, jumpers and pants – Janna’s tucked into a pair of over the knee black leather boots, and me wearing sneakers. We both also had black leather gloves on – and as I looked round into the back garden, I motioned to Janna before we each pulled a stocking mask down over our heads.
I looked again to see Hope Shaw in her wheelchair, arranging some cutlery on a long wooden table in the garden. She had a peach coloured wrap over her shoulders and upper body, and was wearing a sleeveless dress with a blue floral print – as well as a fetching pair of pink wellingtons.
She was smiling as she turned her wheelchair, and then saw the two of us standing there, smiling under the masks.
“Hello Hope,” I said quietly, “now, I need you to remain calm and not scream. I promise you, neither of us wishes to hurt you or your daughters – in fact, we’d like to invite you to play a game with us.”
“A game? A game of wha… Oh….
“OH! Oh my god, you’re the Games Players?”
“Guilty as charged,” Janna said with a smile, “now, where are your daughters?”
“Inside – but if you’re going to rob us, I hope you’re prepared for visitors.”
“Visitors?” I looked at Janna, and then said “who else is coming today?”
“My co-workers and their daughters – so what are you going to do with them,” Hope said as she looked at us.
“Get them to play, of course,” I said with a smile, “and be assured, we are not interested in the money you have raised, just in your valuables. So, shall we go in, and you can tell the girls this is a special surprise game?”
“Do I have a choice?”
Janna shook her head as she took the handles of the wheelchair and pushed her into the house, me following as I closed the door behind us, and then we went into the front room as Hope said “girls, the party this afternoon is going to have an extra twist to it.”
“What’s that Mum,” Tabitha said as she looked over from her seat. She was wearing a sleeveless dress with a blue, green and black floral print on it, and a lace overskirt that went down from her waist. She also had on a pair of black leggings, her dark hair cut short.
Samantha was looking at Janna, her mouth open as she did so. The younger daughter was dressed in a pink and blue sundress, the shoulder straps with knots on the top. “Who are you,” she finally said.
“These are two actors,” Hope said quietly as she looked at the girls, “they’re going to play a special game with us – with all of us when the others arrive. They’re pretending to be robbers, who have come to hold the guests at our party hostage while they rob the house.”
“Hostages? But Mum,” Tabitha said quietly, “That means…”
“I know – but they’re not going to hurt us.” As she spoke, Janna looked at me, and I lifted Hope out of her wheelchair and sat her in an armchair, before I took her hands behind her back and started to bind them together with soft rope.
“What are you going to do to us,” Samantha asked quietly.
“Well, I think the younger generation need to be in a different room. You two can go with my friend here…”
“Come with me,” I said as Steve started to bind Hope’s arms to her sides, as I put my rucksack on my back and took the hands of the two girls, then took them through to a back room. It was fitted out as a play room, and as I looked round Tabitha said “so you’re going to keep us hostage in here?”
“I think so – but I promise it won’t hurt, and it can be fun if you play along.” There was a small chair with brown cushions and a metal frame on the floor, so I said to Samantha “why don’t you sit there, my dear, and I’ll take care of your sister first.” I watched as she sat down, and then said to Tabitha “put your hands together in front of yourself” as I took a roll of white tape from my rucksack.
As Samantha watched, I used the tape to secure her older sister’s wrists together in front of her, Tabitha watching as I did so, and then she went and sat on a red cushion seat as I knelt down and taped her ankles together, then folded the skirt of her dress back and taped her legs together.
“Does it hurt,” Samantha said as I stood up, Tabitha shaking her head as she said “no, it feels kinda nice actually,” she said as she twisted her arms round, then watched as I knelt next to Samantha and put her hands palm down on the arm rests. I taped them into place, and then taped her ankles and legs together in the same way as her sister.”
“Now,” I said as I looked at them, “I gather you have other guests coming, so they’ll join you when they arrive. Then we will take you through to join your mothers, so that you can all try and escape together.”
“Okay,” Tabitha said quietly, “but does that mean we have to be quiet?”
“It does, but let me put this on,” I said as I walked to where a television was mounted on the wall, and then turned it on to a cartoon channel. “So, put your lips together…”
“You promise they will not be hurt?”
“I promise,” I said as I secured Hope’s legs together below the knees. I had used rope to secure her arms to her sides, the rope bands framing her chest, and also her ankles, her wellingtons squeaking as they rubbed together when she tried to move. I stood up, and then said “for now, I’m not going to gag you – after all, you need to greet…”
“Hope – are you in the front room?”
“Invite them in,” I said quietly as I stood behind her, Hope nodding as she called out “I’m in the front room Alison – why don’t you and the girls come in?”
“How are you…” The new arrivals stopped as they saw me standing behind hope, the two young girls standing either side of their mother’s wheelchair.
“Will you make the introductions, Hope,” I said quietly as I put my hand on her shoulder. She nodded as she said “this is Alison Boldman, and the girls are Valerie and Lesley. Alison, Girls – we’re playing a special game of hostages with this man and her friend.”
I looked at the new arrivals. Lesley was six years old, and wearing a translucent and sleeveless white dress over a white skirt and purple top, white shoes and white ankles socks. A thin blue headband with a flower held her brown curly hair back. Valerie, the other girl, was a year older, and had on a white sundress with a red neckband and front, white polka dots on that and red ones on the rest of the dress. She also had on white shoes, both of the girls turning their heeds as they said “a game, Mummy?”
Alison slowly nodded as she looked at me, her long light brown hair falling over the shoulders of her black top. She also had on faded blue jeans, the legs tucked into knee length black suede boots. “Yeah – a game,” she eventually said, “So where are the girls?”
“In the back room. I think Lesley and Valerie are going to join them,” Hope said quietly as Janna came back in. “Oh my – I see two new friends have come to join Tabitha and Samantha,” she said with a smile as the two young girls looked at her. “We’re pretending to hold the young ladies hostage while the mothers stay in here, so if you two want to play, you come with me.”
“Can we play, Mummy,” Valerie asked, Alison saying “of course you can.”
“Then I’m going to pretend to faint,” Lesley said – and she did, but fortunately Janna managed to catch her and lift her up.
“You go with the lady,” Alison said to Valerie, smiling as they walked off and then looking at me. “A game?”
“A way of making sure the younger generation do not panic and get hurt,” I said quietly as I walked behind her and guided her hands behind her back as she leant forward, and I bound her wrists tightly together, then used a longer length to secure her arms to her sides.
“Are the girls going to be with us at any time,” she asked as I knelt in front of her and tied her ankles together.
“Once my friend and I have finished looking round. I am sure they are having fun now…”
“Oh my goodness,” little Valerie said as we walked into the room, her sister Lesley in my arms, “you can’t talk?”
“Nhhh,” Tabitha said as she wriggled in her seat, the white tape covering her mouth, while Samantha nodded in agreement from her chair. The white tape was pressed firmly over their lips, the shape of them visible underneath, as I said to Valerie “sit in that chair.”
As she walked over and pushed herself onto an old brown wooden chair with green cushions, I put Lesley on a couch so that her head was rested on one side, and then took from my bag two thin plastic zip ties. #I crossed her wrists in front of her, and then used the zip tie to secure them together, As Valerie watched, I used the second zip tie to secure her ankles together, and then covered her with a pink blanket that had a Hello Kitty print on it.
“Now,” I said as I walked over to Lesly, putting my rucksack on the floor and taking another zip tie out “put your wrists together for me.” The other two watched as I secured the young girl’s wrists and ankles in the same way as her sister, and then used some white rope to tie her to the chair back, taking it round her waist and the chair as well.
“Are you going to keep us quiet as well,” she said as she looked at me, and I could see she was worried about that.
“I am,” I said as I brushed her hair away, “why?”
“Well, Lesley and I are asthmatics – so please, don’t cover our mouths.”
I nodded, and instead of the tape I took out from the rucksack a brown and white handkerchief, which I’ rolled into a wad. “Can you open your mouth and then bite down on this,” I said to Valerie, smiling as she nodded and let me put that in, before I tied a length of blue ribbon round her head to keep it in place.
“Trrhrhndthlk” Samantha said, Valerie nodding as she said “Hllrhhtt…hmshndshfhnneee.”
“What’s going on,” Lesley said as she opened her eyes – so I used a second handkerchief and length of ribbon to keep her quiet, before all four returned to watching the television…
“Fhnkkuh,” Alison said as I pressed the brown tape firmly down over her mouth, and checked again the ropes that held her tightly. I had lifted her over to sit next to Hope, as he said “I think the girls will be safe. I guess I’ll be kept quiet as well in…”
Both women looked to the doorway and saw a five year old girl standing there, wearing a purple bolero jacket over a black and white dress – a dress with a large picture of Hello Kitty om the front, while her light blonde hair feel onto her shoulders.
“Coco,” Hope said quietly, “don’t be afraid, we’re all playing a special game of hostages before the party. Is your mother coming?”
“I’m here Hope,” an older woman called out before she appeared in the doorway, a fawn military jacket over a white top, and a blue lace skirt over a shorter white one, a pair of brown front-laced boots over her legs as she sat in her wheelchair. She looked at her friends, and said “oh my god… Are you been robbed?”
“Not as such, Amy” Hope said as she looked at Coco, “we’re all playing a game with this man and his – partner. The girls are playing in one room, we’re in this one, but in a little while they have promised all of us will be together. I need to ask if you and Coco will play as well.”
I looked at Coco as she looked at her mother, and then said “I want to play Mummy. Can I play?”
“Yes you can,” I said with a smile.
“So will you put that tape over my mouth as well?”
“No – you can both start to play now,” I said with a smile as I tore a strip of the fabric from the roll, and pressed it gently over Coco’s mouth, seeing her grin underneath before I pressed another length over her mother’s mouth – just as Janna came back in.
“Ah – would you take young Coco to be with the others,” I said, Janna nodding as she took the young girl’s hand. “Shheuhlhtrrmmhmmee,” she said as she walked off, Amy looking at me as I said “now – put your hands behind your back please.”
“Hllhhchcchh” Valerie said as she wriggled in the chair as I brought the youngest girl in, the others looking at her as she smiled under the brown tape. I led her over to where Tabitha and Lesley were sitting, and helped her to sit between them, before I crossed her wrists in front of her and tied them tightly together with the white rope.
“Now,” I said as I looked at the others, “before I and my friend take you through to join your mothers, we’re going to make sure you all have your arms tied to your sides with some of this rope, so that you are like your mummies, but for now you stay as you are, all right?”
All four nodded as I tied Coco’s ankles tightly together, and then her legs below her knees, before I tied her wrists down to that band as she smiled and wriggled round. “For now, however, have you ever tried to sing along with your mouths covered?”
“Wfnffhrhdhrmthscffded” Tabitha said quietly.
“Hrrfhlhddlhkths” Lesley said as she looked at me.
“Well, you can now,” I said as I started Frozen, “Sing along if you want…”
“Now, you all stay there, nice and quiet,” I said as I looked at Hope, Alison and Amy. All three were sitting side by side, their legs secured at the ankles and knees, their arms bound tightly to their sides, and brown tape over their mouths as I smiled, and turned the radio on, before leaving to have a look round the house. I made sure their wheelchairs were in the hallway, and then made my way round the house, taking valuables and money as I found them, before I made my way back to the front room and made some further arrangements.
Walking into the back room, I smiled as I saw Janna watching the girls, before I said “time to take them to join their mothers, I think. Will you help me to carry Samantha and Valerie through first please?”
“Of course I will,” Janna said, the other three girls watching as we picked Samantha up in her chair and carried her out of the room, then came back and took Valerie in her chair as well.
When I came back in, I said to the other three “right – I want you to stand up and jump after me.” I watched as Tabitha, Lesley and Coco managed to stand up, and then they jumped out of the room and down the corridor in front of me.
When they walked in, they saw that Samantha and Valerie were now sat back to back, their legs swinging over the chair seats and the chairs secured together as well. Their mothers were lying on the floor, their legs now pulled back and their ankles tied to the ropes round their chests, as the other three were helped to go and sit on the couch they had been on before.
Looking over, they saw the extra ropes that were now tied round the arms of Valerie and Samantha, holding their arms to their sides, and Janna was standing with three more lengths of rope – each of which was soon tied tightly round the upper arms and chests of the other three girls.
“Now, wait until the end of Scooby Doo,” Janna said as the program started, “and then you can try to escape.” They all nodded as we stepped out of the room, and then left them to their fun…